From Too Much to Not Enough

Not so long ago, we were spoiled by having too much of too many things. Shopping became more complex as we were called upon to make many decisions before placing the product in our shopping cart. For example, which brand of laundry detergent would we select? Then, did we want powdered detergent, liquid, or pods? Which fragrance do we fancy? What size package did we wish to buy?

Next, we had similar decisions to make concerning our purchase of toothpaste, bar soap, coffee, beer, snack chips, yogurt, pizza, apples, breakfast cereal, ice cream, and fresh produce.

That was then and this is now. Now, the situation is suddenly different. Shelves are not full. Our favorite brand is often not available. On the shelf is a notice posted by the store: We apologize as this item is temporarily out of stock.

Everyone is blaming someone else for this sudden dearth of availability. It is said that shoppers are hoarding (think toilet tissue), farmers and manufacturers are price gouging, more truck drivers are needed, too many products are made or grown abroad, misguided government relief payments have made people unwilling to work, the pandemic (COVID did it), and regulations are burdensome. The supply chain seems broken.

In fact, do we need all those previous purchase options? Perhaps we should eliminate some waste and redundancy. We must learn to live with what is available now and not what we had become accustomed to. Adapt! We will survive.

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