UgBlogWeek Day 2 – Greed

By on October 20, 2015

Greed, which in many instances is also known as covetousness, avarice or cupidity is one of those cardinal sins that engulfs an individual and can easily morph into more dangerous and unstoppable evils if not controlled. It has a spillover effect that often manifests itself in struggle for more and desire to have more than one needs.

It is true that as humans, we are greatly insatiable beings. It is also true that when we realise that there is a chance we could get more than we already have, we are inherently urged to demand for more.

The nature of greed is such that it begins to rear its ugly head when someone is not thankful or appreciative of what they have. This inordinate desire to have more than you need is one that many humans beings have become slave to and whether it is in terms of wealth or power, we are usually blind to the fact that we are lucky to have what we have.

Erich Fromm explained quite aptly that greed is “a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

Therefore no matter how much of something one gets, there is that insatiable demon that keeps pushing one to want more. The failure to create a fine distinction between what one ‘needs’ and what one ‘wants’ is usually where it all starts. And without identifying this line, we can easily be swayed by the demon to assume that what we have is not enough and some more should be attained for the right level of satisfaction to be felt.

I would like to believe that a man’s prowess is not in owning a lot but in being thankful for what he has – no matter how little. And this is why as young children we are taught to thank God for the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and pretty much everything.

It is the little things that count at the end of it all.

Meher Baba explained that “Greed is a state of restlessness of the heart, and it consists mainly of craving for power and possessions.

While people who are greedy are often in the habit of accumulating possessions and power, and thus appearing successful, there is one thing we forget – they very rarely get a good night’s sleep. When someone is never comfortable with what they have, there is a high chance that they will always want to get more and this restlessness is what often wears down someone’s soul. On the outside it will seem like they are getting everything they want but on the inside they are unhappy and saddened because the actual satisfaction that they crave for is unattainable.

That right there is what Greed does. It gives you a strange level of insatiability that you can not help but want more and more.

A story is told of the pirate Hendrick Lucifer, who struggled for long hours to acquire a huge bounty of Cuban gold at whatever expense. In the process he became mortally wounded and as a result he died of his wounds not long after he had transferred the bounty to his ship.

What a waste!

It makes no sense to spend one’s whole life craving more power and wealth and then failing to enjoy the earnings. And this is why my old man usually tells me that no matter how little you earn, always take sometime to be thankful for it and enjoy it with those you hold dear. If you wait till you have gotten a lot more, there is a high chance you are creating a fertile ground for greed to grow. And with our insatiable appetites, this can only mean one thing – you will never find the happiness that you so much crave for.

The challenge therefore for any human being is creating a cap on their level of satisfaction so that you can take time to actually be thankful for what you have instead of worrying about what you do not have.

Without this realization, we will very easily want more for ourselves unaware that we are depriving others elsewhere of the bare minimum. Greed gives one the false and rather myopic impression that they are more important or valuable to the world than the rest. And so when people yearn for more power and wealth, they forget that they are indirectly usurping the little chance of survival that others might need.

If everyone was comfortable with what they had, there would be enough to go around, even for those who are unlucky to not get anything. Sadly, the way this world is set up, that is most likely not going to happen. The question though is – the things you want in life; are they needs or wants? And are you thankful when you get them or do you suddenly change goal posts and start to crave for more?

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” ― Socrates

a.k.a Beewol
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  1. Brian

    October 20, 2015 at 11:16 am

    The story of greed is one long one. Humans are naturally greedy. Be it for sex, food, money, power or alcohol. But I would like to believe that there is a positive side to being greedy. If one is greedy for money (as long as they keep in line with law,) they can become prosperous. And If one is greedy for power, they can either be good leaders or become dictators.
    But at the end of the day, our vices can either kill us or build us.

    • Beewol

      October 20, 2015 at 11:45 am

      I would like to disagree with you Brian. You see, the desire and hunger for more is not bad. However, when it crosses acceptable limits, then it becomes greed. Greed in essence is not just wanting over and above what you need but doing everything in your power to make sure you get it. Now that is where the problem is. When you do everything in your power to get the things you want, you end up stepping on many toes and depriving others of the little they might have gotten. That is the problem with greed. It is an extreme level of want and desire.

  2. ataibeth

    October 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    hmmmm intriguing…

    • Beewol

      October 21, 2015 at 10:13 am


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  4. Guulo

    October 22, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Hendrick Lucifer?…*sips on tea*
    Your father is right, however little it seems, we should take time off, appreciate and enjoy, it is really about the litle things

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