Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Greed

I have many failings, but greed isn't one of them. I tend to be content with what I have and not forever wondering how I can get even more.

It's an odd trait, when everyone around me seems to be piling up possessions as if their lives depend on it. Why I'm immune I don't know.

Perhaps it's because I always see the practicalities of wild longings. If I see a huge country mansion, I don't think I'd like to own it. I just think of the colossal maintenance it must need simply to keep it in repair.

When I read about billionaires, I don't covet those vast hoards of cash. I imagine all the begging letters, all the relatives itching to get their hands on it, and the headache of keeping track of where it all is.

I hear of people who have 500 pairs of shoes or 20 cars and I'm just bemused. Why on earth would anyone want all these things? I've never owned excessive amounts of anything, only what I need or what gives me a bit of pleasure.

I've never had this strange urge to keep adding and adding and adding to what I already have. In fact I have more of an urge to subtract things, to get rid of stuff I don't need that just annoys me and clutters the place up.

I don't believe luxury is the pinnacle of existence either. I take all those images of pampered lifestyles, full of limos, uniformed flunkeys and opulent furnishings, with a large pinch of salt. Behind the glittering facades there's plenty of hidden tension and personal angst. You can buy all the thick-pile carpets you like, but it won't guarantee happiness or peace of mind.

Greed is a luxury I can do without.

14 comments:

Grannymar said...

A man after my own heart. You can only wear one pair of shoes at a time and there are only 7 days in the week.

Are you still having trouble with my blog?

Hullaballoo said...

I agree.....except I could never have too much peanut butter, ever :)).

Baino said...

Actually last night, Adam said 'When I'm rich I'm going to buy you a kick ass sound system and some decent furniture' . .perhaps I lead too simple a life! Seriously though, If I could afford a mansion,200 pairs of shoes and 20 cars . . I still wouldn't go there. Would be nice to have the 'choice' tho.

Nick said...

Grannymar - And just imagine having to dust all those 500 pairs of shoes!

Yes, can access your blog now.

Hulla - Ah, peanut butter, one of my essentials as well. I can only eat so much though. But ice cream - that I can definitely overdo.

Baino - Some decent furniture? So what's wrong with the present lot? If it's serviceable, what's the problem?

Wisewebwoman said...

We're kindred spirits, there Nick. I find that it is the stuff that doesn't cost money is what fills my soul. Sunsets, mountains, ocean, granddaughter giggling like a maniac, great music, etc.
And people who have 20 cars don't know what they're missing. I often think of them as having great big gaping wounds in their psyches.
XO
WWW

Nick said...

www - Indeed, if you're feverishly piling up money and possessions, how often do you even notice a glorious sunset or a majestic line of hills or even a full moon?

Fate's Granddaughter said...

I feel exactly the same - I just want enough to not have to worry about having enough. Coming from a culture where wealth is the main measure of success, I can assure you that many of my peers find this notion strange (and often question my sincerity in stating it).

Nick said...

FG - I know, many people find the idea of being happy with what you've got very baffling. It's seen as normal to be constantly restless and dissatisfied and wanting more.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think you have learned one of the major lessons of life, to be happy with what we have because true happiness comes from within ourselves, not from things.

The richest people on earth find joy in simple things which cost nothing while those who measure their worth in dollars can never attain the happiness they seek.

Nick said...

Heart - You're right, happiness can only come from within, from expressing your true self and appreciating the natural joys and wonders of life.

Thriftcriminal said...

Kind of with you. What I crave is self determination. The ability to wave to fingers to the established model, provide for my own electricity, fuel, food and shelter needs. This does not require that I have a mansion, but there are several ways to achieve this end, so far I have focussed on earning well with a view to being able to set myself up as above, I could do it several other ways, and I am starting to conclude that the cash based way is probably like the carrot on a stick, just out of reach and designed to keep me on the treadmill.

Nick said...

Thrifty - That makes sense to me. Earning well to set yourself up in a self-sufficient lifestyle isn't greed. You're not looking for some sumptuous existence, just one that's comfortable but also environmentally responsible.

Hi! I'm Grace said...

You have a good personality, Nick. You are the kind of man fit for becoming a politician. I hope they are all like you. :)
Contentment is a great gain.

Nick said...

Grace - Fit to be a politician? I think not. My opinion of most politicians is unprintable - they spin, they lie, they break their promises, they con the voters, they feather their own nests. In tables of public popularity, they're regularly at the bottom with journalists and estate agents. The odd politicians of integrity - Barack Obama, Tony Benn, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez - are the surprising exceptions that prove the rule.

But anyway, thanks for the compliment!