Friday, 23 May 2014
Anything but greed
There's always a good reason why someone has 32 pairs of shoes. Or such an enormous car. Or a TV in every room. Or three bathrooms. It's not greed. No no, it's just a question of comfort. Or practicality. Or convenience. Or enjoyment. What's the harm in that?
The idea of greed is so repulsive that most people are quick to deny such tendencies. We don't want to be thought of as mindlessly grabbing everything we can, pushing others aside to justify our own voracious lust. We don't want to be seen as addictive, out of control, frenzied.
When did you last hear someone described as greedy (well, apart from millionaires)? When did you last use the word yourself? We tend to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than risk such an insult.
I mean, I'm not greedy. Good heavens, no. I may live in a very large house, but that's because I like plenty of space. I may have been to Australia a few times, but that's because it's exciting and beautiful, and because I have friends there. I may have a state-of-the-art computer, but only because the old one was obsolete. Me greedy? How very dare you.
What greed also implies is not just an untamed appetite but taking more than your fair share of something. Which is another good reason for glossing and tweaking what you're doing to avoid scorn. No no, I'm not depriving anyone else, there's plenty for everyone. Or if there isn't, then somebody should be providing more. It's not greed, it's just getting my slice of the cake.
Oh yes, there are plenty of people out there who're greedy. But don't ever say so. They won't thank you for it.