I want you to ponder something for a moment – what is your definition of greed? Who are the greedy ones? You may have an idea in your head of Wall Street traders who bonus themselves millions while letting others go bankrupt.
But what if I told you that 80% of the world, according to Global Issues, lives on 10$/day. In comparison, middle-class Americans spend $59/day! In addition, in recent years, 41% of Americans have cut back on donating to charity organizations and nonprofits, while 34% have stopped giving all together.
Our media and culture have fed us a very different idea of what greed is. We are sold the idea of luxuries as the “norm”. And for our country, and most of Western cultures, it is. But we’re told on a daily basis that we need these things to be happy. We are so privileged, but we live in excess and the majority of us are addicted to comfort, luxury, and convenience.
Ultimately though, greed doesn’t have a number. There is no obvious line where you cross over and all the sudden you are greedy. Greed is not defined by what is in your bank account. You can have absolutely no money and still be greedy. Greed isn’t always about money. You could be greedy for fame, recognition, affection or whatever else your vice may be.
It tends to be easier to identify it in others, but far more difficult to evaluate in yourself. Be wary though – greed can wreck you. It can ruin your bank account and your relationships. If you are obsessing over anything – money, fame, recognition, your career, your business – you are likely on a road to destruction.
You and I were designed with wealth in mind…and greed isn’t part of that – it’s totally the opposite. Greed will keep you broke and wanting for more and more and more.
So let’s think about the opposite of greed. What does that look like?
It’s not about money. What is important is the lifestyle choices and habits. What are you are passing on to your children – are you encouraging them to obsess over ‘stuff”? What example are you setting for them and for your friends, staff and community?