Money is not everything, but everything needs money. This is one of the undeniable fact that hovers around this lovely world. Lately, there are fewer people who deny it, and instead they embrace the fact and live with it. Money, created to simplify lives by providing a trading currency, becomes a fundamental material to live. It sends shiver down the spine when people know they are getting some, or instead losing some. It has become a measurement of people’s decency, an indicator of a rich country, and a determinant of how bright a future is. But some people take it too far in this wealth competition.
How far is “too far” in this passion of money? Is gaining wealth by robbery counted as the aftermath of greed? Alright that’s too far, but what about those who lives greedily in an honest way? There are some who get richer by their own effort and they keep looking for more, even though they already have enough wealth to pass on the next generation. Are they still counted as greedy? Where should we put the line?
First thing first: those who say “greed is good”, I give you a simple counter: “greed is not good”. I understand that we need to make money for a living, but I think we need to understand what “greed” truly means. Greed is an excessive pursuit of material possessions, as stated by bibleinfo.com. “Excessive” holds the key here. You may hop from job to job that offer you a higher salary, but it’s not a greed yet.
A true greed is when you leave your old parents to another town just for a higher salary, despite the fact that they need to be taken care of and your current job had already paid you well. When you’re looking for a wealthy man for your husband, that’s not a greed yet. The greed starts when you’re looking for a more wealthy man and you ditched your current partner, even though your current lover is already wealthy enough to give you 17 bachelor degree children. It’s not a greed yet when you’re working for a house on your own and a bank account full of money and two cars. The real greed will spawn when you’re desiring the whole world in your already-big empire. Everything excessive is bad, and greed is one of the easiest example of it.
There isn’t any real line of greed. Just like the other sins from the 7 Deadly Sins, the line of greed is only the moral value of it. It’s counted as greed if you have to chase something by banishing moral value. Be wary that some of the moral value has a very thin line that you could miss seeing it.
For an example of an obvious moral value, you can always hold yourself from stealing money from the firm you work on, but you might have missed on your responsibility as a father who’s supposed to give time to his children. Those soft borders that aren’t very apparent could entrap you in the cycle of greed, since greed creates further greed. There might be your subordinate whom you unconsciously push to their limit for your profits. There can also be your old friends whom you decided to ignore just because you think they have done their part in your life. And there might be ants whom you accidentally stepped on on your way to your office. Just kidding. The problem is, greed is only good for you and temporarily.
Yes, some people who hit the top chart of the richest person alive admitted some kind of “boredom” with the greed cycle. For instance, what do rich people do with a Horse-car they once desperately want? After several years, if they succumb to greed, they would see the Horse-car as just a car. An ordinary car who has lost its charm over the brand new Lamb-car that’s gonna be out of the market on the next week. There goes the cycle again, until they either die or understand that greed had kept them at bay from true happiness. It was then when they finally regret for not fighting the greed back any sooner.
Below you will read three possible ways to fight greed back. On the first tip, you have to learn on how to control your intention to buy. This is gonna be hard: put those expensive thing away from your sight. I know some people said we have to train ourselves how to look at things while controlling our urge to buy, but the fact is, we can’t let things go if they keep being around us. It’s like how people said you have to learn to befriend your ex while slowly diminishing your love for them. I call it ********. I call it eight asterisks. We’re still humans who have risk to fall in our comfort zone, so putting something fallacious around our vicinity won’t help. Stay out of those things.
Don’t buy those glamour magazine again. Reduce visiting the mall. Sign out of that “vapor” video game before they advertise you discounts and you’ll shout “hail Globen”. The hedonistic lifestyle is a gateway into greed and envy, and you shall not pass that gate. Close and lock the gate, and run the four asterisks away from it.
Second tip, detach yourself from the grips of your belongings. You should be the owner, not the other way. You have to understand that greed sometimes makes you want to devour everything and claim them as your own, even though you don’t need it. Greed pleasures you with the feeling of “owning” things even though you don’t really need it. This could lead to envy, pride, wrath, and other sins. They said one sin could lead to another sin, and that might be true. These Seven Capital Sins are mostly about lack of self-control, and it’s just the same as how a ship would be when it’s lead by a captain with poor sailing skills. If that happens, the ship will control the captain, not the other way. To prevent it, you have to keep reminding yourself that you can live without your treasures.
When you feel that greed is creeping its hands on your life, select something that you value so much between your belongings, and banish them from your reach. Give them away, sell them, or break them, and don’t try to make attempt to retrieve them.
The great loss will devour you, and greed will try to tell you that you’ve just done a stupid thing. I’m telling you: do mourn for your loss like you’ve forever lost the love of your life. Cry and crawl. This will help you to make your brain realize that it’s the real deal, like you’ve lost the entire world and you can’t have them back. But after you’ve lived for some times, you would realize that you’re not dead yet. You could still live without that treasure. Time will slap senses into your mind when you realized that the loss isn’t as big as it seems. When you’ve reached that level, I’m telling you, you have literally trained your brain to be wiser. Our own brains can be stupid at times, and greed could make use of it. Don’t give it a chance.
Third tip, which might be the weirdest of all three tips, is to visit your rich relatives who are dying. And don’t think of getting a heritage, I just want you to take care of them. I know it’s impolite to mention this one, but you can learn anything anywhere and anytime, and this one is a rare chance. Befriend them and see the happiness and curiosity in their eyes when you give them affection. I’ve done this before, even though I didn’t know my dying relative too well. Let me warn you, it’s not a pleasant progress.
I literally saw them get on fire when they tried to give me thanks and life tips, but in the same time, I got constantly reminded that their excited eyes are the same eyes of a dying man. You see? Their monochrome cars don’t barge in the hospital bedroom and asked, “you okay, owner?”, their expensive yachts don’t climb up the bed and try to give their owner a pair of socks when it’s too cold, and their mansions don’t visit them bringing foods. No, instead they have their children politely gave a cold gaze while scrolling through their phones, the nurse coming in to take their blood sample, and the murderous silence which appears when no one is around to keep them company. Once you’ve experienced that, you can see that what gives people happiness is the feeling that they’re important in this one-shot life. Their wealth means nothing when it comes to eternal happiness.