By: Jessica Manuel
“An intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food.” This is the definition of greed. I want to see greed eradicated from our lives. There is no need for it.
When we weigh ourselves down with an intense and selfish desire for something, we create an inability to see the gifts around us. We tend to push out the best people in our lives when we focus on our own agenda, or we’re not grateful with what we have. Further still, if we chase wealth, power or food in a selfish manner we tend to never give it away when we get it.
If we take an honest look at the world arounds us, greed is everywhere. Social media has encouraged the desire for people to spend money, purchasing certain clothes, phones etc, and because of this we have an increasing population of unsatisfied and envious consumers. Each one of us can shackle ourselves to these standards if we’re not careful, looking to possessions to “fill” a hunger for superficial success – a status of success that society paints for us.
Why do people choose to wear the chain of greed?
Well some may feel a sense of entitlement, perhaps always getting what they wanted and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. They typically find a way to get their wants and desires and are unable to fill that desire from family and friends. Some people grow up not knowing any different- and others just like taking.
Like other things, taking from people to get what you want has become more socially acceptable. Similar to drinking and driving being acknowledged as a problem and socially ‘acceptable’ through public knowledge, greed is no different; it still hurts people.
In my life I came to realize that focusing on desires that I could not yet provide for myself without taking from others was really a selfish and unfulfilling way to live. Even though there was times when I thought taking was justified because of my circumstances, it really never fixed anything.
Accepting the reality that I couldn’t eat great food, or I could not have certain things that others had was the hardest part of the process. Being accountable to making positive choices, delaying gratification and being grateful for what I had was the start to breaking the chain of living a greedy life moving forward.
There was a time in my life where I was stealing from stores in order to fill my stomach and I depended on the community to provide resources in order to fix my reality of poverty.
Even though my reality wasn’t easy to face, the worst is over. The most rewarding part- today I am grateful for everything. I can not only provide a meal for myself, but I can afford to buy a meal for someone else; how amazing!
Today I choose to wear the key that unlocked my chain of greed: Giving.
I would love to see others move from poverty to possibility. I want to encourage people to be in a position to offer empathy and resources for others before the “less fortunate” feel like taking is their only way to survive.
If we all could understand that giving was a way of living, we would live in a less self-absorbed society; we would learn to expect more from ourselves thus more from others, and we would be contributing to a self-sufficient society.
This is not a task, this is simply a switch in perspective. You’ll be surprised with the fruit that comes from small acts of kindness. You not only feel good, but if you surprise someone enough, you would give them a desire to do the same simple act of kindness for someone else. You never know who is watching- so take off your chain of greed and start breaking chains off others around you; removing weight from them will only bring a brighter smile to their face and yours.
Don’t be greedy, give to others. This is your choice.