“Greed is an inordinate or insatiatiable longing, esp. for wealth, status, and power. An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than one needs.”
I honestly believe that this condition is the single most harmful flaw in the human race.
We are always taking more than we need, be it food, money or possessions to bring us some sense of comfort and security, right through to taking someone’s love and attention when it’s doesn’t belong to us, or we feel we’re not getting enough of it. If we released ourselves from the attachment to these feelings and focused on what we already have, and how we can get all we need from it if we just readjust our values, we could solve many issues in our lives, and perhaps even the world.
The yoga philosophy of Aparigraha translates to non-attachment. It is the idea that we should do everything that we do with all our hearts – and to let go of what might come of it.
Let your concern be with the action alone, and never with the fruits of action. Do not let the results of your action be your motive, and do not be attached to inaction – Krishna
We should go to work because we enjoy it, for sense of purpose. Yes, also to earn money to fulfil our needs, but not to take it to excess by working crazy hours for the overtime at the cost of our health for example.
We should love because we want to make someone feel appreciated and wanted, not because we need to feel loved.
We should exercise and eat well to honour and respect our bodies, help them function properly and maintain a healthy state of being – not to shift an extra few lbs or obsess over that muscle definition which can then lead to unnecessary pressure, disappointment, upset and ultimately neglect and an overall negative self-image and that then becomes harmful to ourselves and those around us.
We should take a photo to secure a memory – not to get as many likes as we can on Instagram!
Earn the money that you earn, but don’t sacrifice your life for it. Eat the food you eat, but leave more for other people. Love the people you love, but don’t get sucked into desperation because they’re not fulfilling your own need to feel loved – open your eyes and look around, think about it – you’ll probably realise that you are loved enormously.
One further note; Excessive consumerism that is born from this greed is killing our planet. From creating and transporting the goods we all ‘must have’ via industrial processes, to over producing, feeding and transporting more and more animals to satisfy our ‘starving’ bellies with a usually double the recommended servings of meat 3 times a day; this is on my list of reasons I’m a vegetarian – human greed is embarrassing and shameful to me in this respect.
Do you really need 3 of those things because it’s on 3 for 2 in the supermarket? Do you really need sausages at breakfast or can you save them for dinner instead? These industries are driven by demand, so let’s reduce the amount of products we purchase and consume, and drive down the levels of production – it can only help!