On the Wall Street greed and fear may be the psychology behind an investment portfolio that helps analyze social, cognitive and emotional moves behind a financial decision but on the main street, greed is simply a social evil. As a ramification of a scornful mind, greed is a derisive act, which pushes us to an overwhelming desire for more and an unending hunger for money, temporal pleasures to faking relationships and hurting other’s emotions. Greed is not about acquiring wealth and getting richer. It actually is like entering a glittering passage to experience the darkness of ignorance and concealment that robs us of our moral values and good deeds to ultimately make us poor.
If King Siddhartha, more commonly known as the erstwhile Gautama Buddha had been greedy, this world would have been deprived of Buddhism’s spiritual teachings and awakenings. If Aristotle had been greedy, a comprehensive system of western philosophy of morality, aesthetics, logic, science, politics and metaphysics would have remained obscure. Had avarice been the motive behind Wright brother’s gliders and jet plane inventions, long distance travel would still have been a mystery. Moreover, had Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and other revolutionists been grabby, freedom would have remained a word coined just in encyclopedias and dictionaries.
Greed is a negative emotion that has multiple hidden faces and can lead to pseudo-behaviors that spoil the harmony in relationships and sanctity in humanity. Power through unethical means, satisfying lust through extramarital affairs, breeding violence and extremism through terrorism, wealth maximization through stock scams and fraudulent practices, reaping higher profits margins through selling fake and defected products, are some common illustrations of greed. One of the fundamental principles of greed starts with ‘I, Me, and Myself’. Knowingly or unknowingly such feeling is the greed for control, the home of ego and the state of prejudice.
Like other negative emotions, greed too can take any form and slowly alienate us from valuable moments and small pleasures of life. Joy and gratification that we experience in love or a hearty laugh can be viciously eaten by greed. To illustrate further on this, trading educated and professionally competent sons for material wealth is a common practice that revolves around the concept of marriages in India. Unfortunately even if the girl is well educated, cultured and belongs to a respectable family, she still is weighed against money and material assets in a greedy trade-off. Predominance of such behavior in the form of greed in a sacred institution like marriage disturbs the theme and belief that marriages are made in heaven. More importantly, such behavior blots the initiation of new relationship between two individuals and two families that can otherwise begin with a positive note and on a leveled turf. If greed is the culture our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters are made to breed, then our society is certainly heading fast towards an apocalypse of hope, optimism, trust and respect in human relationships. An educated and matured women once said to me, ‘Do you think dowry death cases that are reported in the press and media are really true? I don’t believe it.’ Her conscious statement perhaps had a subconscious message. She may have been sailing the same dowry boat when she married her son and her statement was a mode to conceal her emotions and greedy self.
Bitter, yet true, such is the veil of greed that superimposes the real us. It takes us to a no-return point in life and in relationships to ultimately distance us from our family and children. Greed also takes us to a mental and emotional level where genuine love, impartial actions, honesty and sincerity seem inferior to abounding wealth. Erich Fromm, a German social psychologist and humanistic philosopher rightly said, ‘Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction’. Some of the ways to get out of greedy shackles is to limit our desires so that aspirations today do not become over ambitions tomorrow. Also, valuing relationships more than material assets is yet another way to track greedy behavior as relationships may be broken just in seconds but it takes a life to mend them back. Most importantly, as parents we should be cautious of not deterring from our morality and ethics. If we have greed nesting in us today how would we stop our children from such an unhealthy contagion tomorrow?
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Photo Courtesy: tdcgames
Photo Courtesy: tdcgames