All of us have seen the love of money change a person. Whether you’re a Wall Street honcho or the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or will, the results remain the same… money changes people. It helps us acquire what we want, but when we value money, more than our family, friends, dignity, and spirituality, we become enslaved by it. Instead of letting it serves us for our purposes, money can becomes the motivation for our actions. Many see this as evil, per se.
Greed cultivates an overwhelming desire for more wealth and materialism which leads down a dark path of being unsatisfied and unhappy. It can be intentional (i.e. the character Gordon Gekko) but more often it exists in subtle, disguised forms. Greed is insidious by nature because it is generally transferred by environmental teachings, which are tremendously powerful. Culture, peers, media, and family dynamics are where most environmental teaching occurs.
A subtle form of greed that afflicts families is a lack of communication and sense of entitlement. Withholding information, on the surface, seems like an effective way to prevent younger generations from being plagued wealth’s negative effects. But it can quickly emerge as a way to not relinquishing power or identity, resulting in a refusal to share information.
You see, the true danger of greed is that one becomes so obsessed with the object of his or her desire that it becomes the only thing that is important. Someone possessed by greed develops tunnel vision and in that tunnel, they can see only their own selfish desire.
Greedy people walk all over the rights and needs of others and to them it is no big thing. They, along with their needs, are the only things that count. A greedy husband or wife makes a miserable marriage. A greedy politician makes a miserable life for his or her constituents. A greedy boss makes miserable employees. I could go on, but I know you get the point.
Ultimately, greed is a sign of emptiness. If you find yourself grasping after things in life, worried that you won't get what you want, what you need, or what you deserve, you have put your trust in the wrong place. Greed will use you up without giving anything in return because it’s an unscrupulous desire for wealth and power. It does not have a heart or concern for the damage it causes. Greed is infectious and alienates the individual from family, friends and their moral center. It is a selfish act that benefits only the greedy individual temporarily.
Remember, "whatever we sow, we shall reap." Why not focus your life on positive seeds that will reap love. Material things will come and go. A good reputation will allow you to sleep well at night. Meditate on these words and live a happy, good life without the negative effects of greed.
Overcoming greed requires a lot of effort and discipline. It isn't easy, but it can be done. It's all a matter of taming your ego. An important reminder for all of us watching greed play out in the media: Where there’s greed, there’s danger.
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