UNITED STATES—I recall quite vivid nearly 10 years ago I studied the importance of the seven deadly sins while studying Shakespeare and Medieval Literature. While most people can’t recall which is more prevalent than the others, but for those not in the know, those sins include: Pride, Envy, Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Sloth and Wrath. I was always warned that ‘Pride’ was the worst of all the sins because it inevitably leads to all the others. And for the most part I would have to agree with that assertion.
However, in the past few weeks I have come to realize that maybe it’s ‘Greed’ that is the one sin that has more impact on our behaviors and intentions than we suspect. Why? No matter how much of something we have, there is always this desire to want more and more, even though we have so much already.
Now, I know what so many of you might be thinking? Aren’t Greed and Gluttony the same thing? No, they’re not. Gluttony is a reference to overconsumption or indulging too much in something, specifically in relation to food. Whereas, Greed is the desire to pursue and attain material possessions, and specific tactics might be implemented to attain those needs.
Violence, robbery, deception, manipulation, cunningness and a list of other traits can be used in the acquirement of those particular goods or material possessions. Let’s face it, and I’m going to say it: Americans are greedy. We always want more and more of one particular asset: money. It has been said time and time again that money is the root of all evil and it’s unfortunate, but I have to agree. We will lie, steal and even kill to get our hands on unlimited amounts of money. This begs the biggest question of the hour: why? What is it about money especially those who have so much, that they can’t do without even more?
Its power people! It always relates back to power. When one has money, he or she can wield power. And I hate to admit it, but I see it all the time with my family. Being the bank of the family, people will always come around and attempt to charm or squirm into your orbit when they want something. To be quite honest it’s very frustrating. I don’t see myself having money as a form of power, but in all actuality it is.
People are willing to do things for you that they normally wouldn’t do if they didn’t want some of the money that you have. It makes one question the level of authenticity. Is this person actually being genuine with me or wearing a mask to get something from me that he or she wants. That is the problem with Greed, it makes one question the people around them, but even more it leads them to do despicable things at times to ensure the power they have never slips through their fingers.
I bet if you were to ask most Americans today which deadly sin best describes them, Greed might be a popular one, followed by Pride, as the others tend to have a negative connotation. I also ask myself if money and I mean the idea of money itself ceased to exist tomorrow, what would it do to most people. That power they once had is no longer relevant and a deadly sin is no longer able to control how one behaves. Think about it, does Greed motivate your behavior? If so, it’s something you have to think about because you could be doing things that may not be in the best interest for you or those surrounding you.