Greed has been defined as the fear of not having enough. It is a sense of not being content or at peace because we do not have enough. Thing is we may not recognise it because we have rationalised our desire for something. What we see seduces us. It is almost as if something has a sign on it saying “buy me” despite the fact that whatever it is not good for us.
It could be wanting too much food, or a harmful substance like alcohol, or yet another pair of shoes etc. When this happens, we can develop such a strong craving for it that we become driven by the desire to get it. We think that we cannot live without whatever it is. We develop a plan to go after what we want. That plan may be to borrow money that we struggle to repay or to do other things to ourselves and others that hurt them in some way.
Our desire for something can be so strong that it controls us
It causes us to lie to others because we cannot face the truth. It causes us to steal things. It causes us to do things that spoil our body such as eat too much, eat or drink the wrong things. It causes us to hurt others or take advantage of them.
Not only that once we have something we keep it for ourselves and hoard it. What we have is simply not distributed as it should be. That sounds similar to the idea mentioned earlier about the business most likely to succeed being ones where the motive is to serve others rather than simply gather benefits for its owners.
Is something really good for us?
Some of the things that we crave may on the outside, look as though they are helpful but when you look at the situation more closely, our motives may be wrong. For example, it seems noble to cut back your spending that you barely spend anything on food so that you can repay your debts but then you realise that the motivation is to the need to punish yourself for overspending.
Going after whatever we crave can cause serious problems in relationships. Often we need more and more to feed the habit. What was supposed to bring us comfort can bring us pain and yet we can keep on doing it. We hide our fear behind a mask that few even those closest to us can penetrate.
What is the thing that we really want or need?
What is worse we can get quite muddled about what it is that we are really looking for. We can think that acceptance or our self worth comes from the possessions that we have. We go chasing after possessions in an attempt to make ourselves more acceptable when all the time they are not interested in our possessions. Others who want to make money by selling us things or by lending us money encourage this behaviour because they benefit from it. They literally want to feed our habit in order to help themselves and will giving into to it help us.
Some people look successful on the outside but on the inside they do not have peace and contentment. If you are fearful of not having enough you cannot be content and you will not have peace. Some of the people with the largest problems in terms of debt are those who want to live a lifestyle that they cannot afford. Their lack of contentment means that they keep on thinking that the next thing that they buy will bring them the contentment that they are looking for. Sadly, it rarely does.
What could be good reasons?
Successful people like what success brings them. A wealthy person likes being able to use their money to help others around them. Their motive is not to gain success and or wealth simply for their own benefit but to be able to help others. For example, some people work hard to gain a lot of wealth and then give a large part of it away to fund the charitable activities of other people who are providing for the needs of others. In fact the test of whether we are controlled by money or it controls us is how easy it is for us to give money away.