May 24, 2011

Greed Is Curable

"My life philosophy is simple: 
If I can afford it,
I consume it."

Greed is a highly destructive, highly contagious disease. It is spread by viral marketing campaigns, television, glossy magazines, and by coveting your neighbour's stuff. It is difficult to get rid of, and gets worse when you throw more money at it. It is spreading fast because we have been told it is good. But it is not.

Just because we can consume several times our fair share of the world's resources, doesn't mean we should. A study titled Money Giveth, Money Taketh Away: the dual effect of wealth on happiness, found that having access to the best things in life may actually undercut people's ability to reap enjoyment from life's small pleasures.

Greed is counterproductive. We think it will bring us more, but what we get is less.

We have no long term plan for maintaining our current level of consumption. If we did, we would have to involve procuring resources from off-Earth. One planet will not be enough. As Gandhi said, "There is enough for everyone's need, but not everyone's greed."

Greed can be cured by its opposite - generosity. When we think and act with generosity, we can control our desires in order to secure our children's future. When our actions are guided by unselfishness, we can share so everyone has enough. We make sacrifices so that our environment does not suffer, for we know that without a healthy environment none of us will make it.

Just because we can afford to consume, doesn't mean we should. Don't let greed infect your life - keep it at bay with acts and thoughts of enormous generosity. Everything, including your own life, will benefit.

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