Victory Over Greed

Our economy is doing very well nowadays. We read and see the developments going on, and the signs are good. There are investors coming in, though not yet that much. All indicators augur well for our country, however; our people still have to feel the bounties of development. Poverty is still widespread; unemployment is still a problem. Investments must be such that jobs are created to spread the wealth and opportunities. There are also other disruptions that are derailing these developments. Allegations of graft and corruption continue to hog the headlines. These are bad examples for our young people, who are themselves grappling with identity and insecurity issues. Come to think about it, we can clearly see that the root of all these is man’s desire to have more than what he needs.

Why is that so? Greed. Simply greed.

Greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs. The degree of greed is related to the inability to control the reformulation of “wants” once the desired “needs” are eliminated. Erich Fromm described greed as “a bottomless pit, which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

Unfortunately, this characterizes a lot of our political leaders today. They are so engrossed with enriching themselves at the expense of their constituents. We are thirsty for genuine leaders that care for people.

Greed, while typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, may also apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else. Thus, when one feels the need to be better than others, one is also guilty of greed in another form. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote “Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things“.

Man’s greed leads him to a low level of trust for God’s goodness and generosity. Man thinks that he must take matters into his own hands instead of trusting for abundance to result out of his own seeds of goodness. He doesn’t want to wait, he wants to do it on his own. His faith is doubting, not genuine. He chooses to forget God’s goodness.

Yet, the Psalms tells us,

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Ps. 33).

The fact is, there are some blessings that can’t be received unless we have the patience to wait for them. True, these times of waiting are very uncomfortable. At times, these could be painful. However, if we intervene, if we become greedy, we will miss God’s gifts to us.

When we finally are showered with blessings and gifts from God, we should wholeheartedly be grateful and thankful. We then have to share these with the people we love and with others. Graces aren’t meant to be kept, but rather to be shared. This requires us to open our hearts when we give, for unless we do it with love, it is empty and doesn’t mean anything. Also, material gifts are a poor substitute for love. People don’t need more possessions, they actually need more love and understanding. As St. Paul says, “If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor. 13:3).

It is therefore our challenge to share and care. There’s a lot of lonely and desperate people out there, waiting for our attention and love. Start with your own family and friends. For it is only in sharing ourselves with others that we have truly lived.

Champions package generosity in big boxes and small sachets. Caring opportunities come without load limits, no schedules.

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