On a blog I came across a while ago (Effective Thoughts) there was a post on greed asking the question, “is it good or is it bad?” A couple sentences from that post were: “I have a few suggestions towards greed: overcome your unnecessary desires, adopt patience and stay away from jealousy. These practices will help you to live a happy life with peaceful mind.” My question is always… who decides what is a “necessary” desire and what isn’t?
I personally don’t know if there is such a thing as an unnecessary one. No such thing, in my eyes, as bad greed. The thing that gets people hurt, in my humble(ish) opinion, is stupidity. Wanting something is one thing. Shooting yourself in the foot for something, costing yourself and others in damages above and beyond the value of that something, is a dumb thing to do. An approach that favors instant gratification, consequences be damned. Greed itself though… isn’t really the problem to my way of thinking. The problem is in not figuring out how to effectively satisfy it.
Not looking to argue with the author of the post that inspired this either, ’cause neither of us are likely to change our minds. I just find my opinion on this isn’t really the majority opinion, so thought it might be worth sharing as food for thought. I actually used to look at it a lot like he does but I suppose my outlook has evolved into one that favors, understands, and completely accepts greed and greed-based systems. The blame for their alleged failures and flaws being in the failure to think things through rather than in the greed itself. And even that (thoughtless, damaging acts of greed) isn’t that bad if you don’t much care about the suffering of others.
Which is perfectly fair in a lot of ways actually. After all… how much does the world care about mine? A few people that know me might, but I don’t take a strangers sympathy as being all that sincere, and that’s a two way thing. It’s not that I’m bitter, just that I don’t empathize well with abstracts and I don’t expect others to be able to either. In fact I think most people lie about their compassion for others or got their wiring crossed (probably in childhood) to care to much about others (that is, more than is practical for their own well-being). lol… maybe I should shut up now though, I’m starting to sound like a paragon of sociopathy. Which, you know… maybe I am. But…
Then again maybe most folks are more like me than they would like to admit.