When we think of greedy people, we think of millionaires. You know those people. They drive around town in expensive convertible cars, and own houses with five bathrooms. This stereotypical view of greedy people can be false. Not all people who drive around in fancy cars are materialistic.
Does Working Hard Cancel Out Greed?
Some people work hard all their lives, have success and therefore have the cars. Determination and hard work generally results in success. There's nothing wrong with owning a sports car, if you worked hard to get it. I think the sense of greed that people sense comes when people who have endless material possessions want to keep building their "empire." These people keep climbing the corporate ladder, accumulating as much wealth as they can.
Sacrificing Your Family
Many times it can be evident that by living your life like this, your personal relationships suffer. Think of the dad who works long hours in the office, sacrificing spending time with his young kids just so he can buy that yacht. All the kids will know is that dad is too busy to spend time with them after school.
On the other hand, people who are wealthy can also be lonely. Groucho Marx once said, "While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery." People can be lonely while being wealthy.
The Lonely Life of a Wealthy Man
A few months ago I read the classic novel "The Great Gatsby", by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I wanted to read the book before watching the movie, so I had no preconceived ideas if I watched the movie before reading the book. As I read the book, I began to sense the contrast between the lifestyles of the characters. Jay Gatsby lived a luxurious life. The parties he hosted were extravagant to say the least.
As time went on, you could feel that Jay felt a sense of emptiness. He had many friends and was well known, but at the end of the day when the parties had ended, Jay was by himself. The example of Jay Gatsby is one that can eventuate when you are greedy. People can have all of the success and wealth they ever dreamed of, but can still feel empty.
This side of the lifestyle is often forgotten about. Deep down, people can be lonely and you wouldn't even know it. By day they portray a happy faÃ§ade, and by night there are tears streaming down their face.
Should We Live a Greedy Life?
In the end, one question needs to be poised. Is this really the way we want to live our lives? Do we want to be greedy with our possessions? Some would say yes. Other people would say no. However, if you look to the Bible, you will find that the answer should be no. Proverbs 15 verse 27 expresses to us that "the greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live."
This is applicable to all people, no matter age, gender, race or faith. In the words of Will Rogers, "the quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your back pocket." Why don't you try this yourself? You never know where it will lead.
Natalie Van Egmond from Brisbane is a journalism graduate.
Natalie Van Egmond's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/natalie-van-egmond.html