Nature of Humanity: Greed

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Greed, a desire that is born within us. Once we get a taste of a deliciously wonderful part of life, we want more. We don’t want just a taste, a bite, or a serving’s worth. We want as much as we can possibly obtain – we want it all.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Ghandi

As the quote above implies, greed has no limit. Even if we have more than the world can give, we just want more, more, and more. Around the 18th century, the British took control over India, justifying their doings by claiming they were industrializing other nations that needed it. They (Great Britain) was already a powerful, industrialized nation, but, of course, ended up wanting more power, more control over the world – they wanted to be the strongest of them all.

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I’m not trying to put just Great Britain on the spot for what they did in the past, but just to show an example of greed. Many times, greed is “justified”, and it doesn’t always start as a bad  motive. For example, in the book Animal Farm, the animals revolt and kick out their human caretaker, because they are sick and tired of being oppressed, overly-worked, and eaten. They want to be free and run the farm on their own, together. They then formed “The Seven Commandments”, which every animal on the farm must follow. They learned to write these commandments through the pigs, who, in the story, are the smartest animals. They taught themselves to read and write, and in turn, taught the other animals as well. As the story moves along, and the animals are working their animal butts-off, I noticed how the pigs seemed to be in-charge. They made headquarters that none of the other animals had, only supervised the animals working, and they got milk and apples reserved for them alone (pretty suspicious, if you ask me. I mean, one of the pig’s name is “Napoleon”, what other clues are needed?).
These animals revolted to their master, so they can be free. However, it appears to me that the pigs are taking over the farm now, taking the farm as their own, which was exactly what the other animals didn’t want. It’s like saying: “Hey guys, we just freed you from the evil dictator that stole most of our produce. Now, we’re going to take control of the farm and do the exact same thing, but you guys are going to go along with it, because you don’t want the big bad dictator back.”These animals thought their only enemy was Man, but in fact, their enemy was the greed for power.

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“The point is, there is no feasible excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others” – Iain Banks, Complicity

People may think greed is okay, since it’s the nature of humanity to want more than what we have. But in fact, it’s not okay. We should be happy and content with what we have close-by, because it’ll be too late when it’s actually gone. We can’t miss what we never had, so why want more? It’ll just be more things to miss when it’s gone. Nothing lasts forever, so appreciate what you have right now.

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