Deadly Sins Part III: Greed
GREED is defined as “an excessive desire to possess wealth or goods with the intention to keep it for one’s self. Greed, like lust and gluttony, is a sin of excess.
Greed is the need to keep things for yourself and not share – to keep more than your fair share. Believe it or not, you don’t need all money or all the attention in the room. A good chunk of money and some of the attention, sure, but being happy with what you have is the first step towards…well, being happy with what you have.
Of course, it’s not exactly an uncommon problem. If you check the facts, the distribution of wealth is grossly out of whack with people’s expectations or desires. Basically, the people at the top are greedy. Very very greedy. (Read on here).
Signs you might be greedy too:
- You refuse to give so much as a dime to the poor, but are only a few thousand dollars away from your dream of swimming a cash filled pool.
- Like a chipmunk, you hide caches of your favourite food so you needn’t share with anyone.
- Your Friday night activity has shifted with going out with your girlfriend to wringing your hands over the state of your bank account.
Detach yourself from the emotional high of controlling resources. Just as Ebenezer Scrooge went from greedy old man to a generous, giving, turkey-bearing benefactor, you can too. And though you don’t have ghosts (or even ghostly Muppets) to lead you on a journey to your past, there are s few steps you can take to start n the right path.
Step 1: Identify moments when instead of buying something, you could help someone. Giving back often brings more happiness than the short lived thrill of a new purchase.
Step 2: Signup for a service like Mint.com to track your finances and see where you are wasting money.
Step 3: Write down a list of things you would do to help people if you had the money and do your best to fulfill at least one of them once a month.
Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, the two richest men in the world have pledged to donate nearly all their money to charitable causes—and it’s not just to make you look like a selfish jerk by comparison. See, Warren Buffet explained that the perfect amount of money really is and it might not be what you’d expect, but rather enough to feel that you “could do anything, but not so much that [you] could do nothing.
In McBain’s famous answer to “how do you sleep at night?", he states “On piles and piles of money with lots of beautiful women” – that’s not fair. But, he does make the effort to redeem himself by giving pennies to the puny children, an act of great generosity.