A Tool Called Greed

Yes, you read that right. Greed is not a good thing, as it causes us to desire the wrong things, and hoard them once we have them. It stops us from sharing and from giving. It may even cause us to steal or to want what isn't ours to have. It will frustrate us at its best, and destroy us at its worst.

So how on earth can we use it for anything good, let alone as a tool? Easy. We view it as a guage, sort of like a pressure guage or a gas guage. When the gas tank nears empty, what do we do? We fill it up again. It costs us money, yet we do it anyways because our car won't run without it. What about a pressure guage? If too much pressure builds up, it must be reduced or a destructive explosion could take place. We see the guage as a reminder to release the pressure, ensuring our safety.

Greed may also be used as a tool in our own lives. Do we see our neighbor with a new car and feel envy? Envy and greed are close relatives. Do people around you have more than you, yet perhaps they are not as well employed, or working as hard, yet they always seem to have more? Is your sense of justice offended by what they have, compared to what you have? Lastly, do you just want more? There is nothing wrong with wanting more for the right reasons, but do you want more because you want to have better than others? You want to live better, dress better, drive a better car and take better vacations because you want to BE better but know no other way? Greed may be what's driving you, and it is always destructive.

How do you feel about giving to someone who has more than you, just to be kind? How do you feel about keeping that older car which has nothing wrong with it, rather than showing off in a newer model? It seems that the world has two types of people. There are those who live beyond their means because they have an image they feel they need to maintain, and those who have means, but choose to live far beneath them, because they use some of their money to help others. We tend to either think one way or the other, and to varying degrees. Usually, the happier people are those NOT following greed, but choosing generosity and kindness instead. Those trying to buy happiness through the things they own, are never happy. They just keep needing more and more.

Even someone with limited resources may hoard things that they don't really need, and you might not think of this as greed, but it is related to it. There is a feeling of wealth and security that comes from having 'stuff', even if the stuff is worth little. But this feeling never gets satisfied, and more and more stuff must be obtained to keep the feeling at bay. But what about the feeling you would have if that stuff were gone? What if you realized that you don't need it? What if you began giving more away, or even saving it for a rainy day?

Here lies the big question - how do we discern desire from greed? Is all desire bad? Of course not. Perhaps you really need a vacation and should take one. For someone else, perhaps they should forego the vacation this year and give more to their retirement fund, or their children, or pay off some debts. Healthy desire is a good thing, and we can have anything we think of and take steps towards manifesting. Greed, though, is a hungry animal that is never satisfied. So keep it in your toolbox, not to give into, but to use as a guage to check your wants and desires. Ask yourself, am I being greedy, or just wanting something that will be good for me and those I love? Greed will try and tell you it's good for you, but greed is liar. If you see it as a tool though, you'll soon be able to see the difference. A life free of greed will become a more joyous and fulfilling life. You can have and truly enjoy anything you want, when the reason you want it is a positive one. Learn to recognize greed in the world around you, but avoid it in your own. It may be easier than you think, and you'll be much happier once you do.