Greed! Why?

Do you recall the scene in the 1987 movie “Wall Street where the actor Michael Douglas in the role of Gordon Gekko states:

Greed is good!”


I personally invite you to consider this post an invitation to start or add to a lively, civil discussion on greed. Post your thoughts in the comment box below. Let’s see a 1000 or more comments on this issue. Why? We’re past due on reconciling the results of greed. As we grapple with greed, we gain awareness on how this trait may teach us to be less greedy with less effort.

Less greed is an idea worth your time and attention.

Lets start out with the basics. Think about or say the word greed. What happens to you – physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, financially, etc.?  Seriously! Take a moment and actually FEEL some feelings more than ponder some thoughts. If someone yelled at you, “YOU greedy so-‘n-so!,” how would you react? Would you care? Would you laugh and say, “Ya, so? Your point? ” Apparently this is the case for a large number of investment folks all to happy to rob from the poor to feed the rich! (Yes, you read that correctly: rob from the poor to feed the rich!) If you’re one of those mortgage paying types how do you feel about paying for your home three to four times over by the end of your mortgage?   If you paid less interest, would you feel less poor? )

How do I say this? Read New York Times article authored by Julie Creswell titled, “Profits for Buyout Firms as Company Debt Soared.”  Ms Creswell’s research made me wonder, when is enough, enough. Her article inspired this post! What are your thoughts on greed in light of this article. Did you know there’s a group of investors out there who have NO problem flipping companies like some investors flip houses? A select number of people (our Kleptocracy) wins at the expense of losses to a much larger group. As time goes on, we all loose!

“As the kleptocracy normally embezzles money from its citizens by misusing funds derived from tax payments, or money laundering schemes, a kleptocratically structured political system tends to degrade nearly everyone’s quality of life.”

Clearly this author finds little redeeming value in greed UNLESS one learns a lesson or two from practicing greed. Any time we learn from something, it improves our personal worth on multiple levels. In chapter three of Pay Me What I’m Worth, we explore the concept of a wisdom bank. To learn from our actions provides us the gift of wisdom. Now the question becomes, what type of gifts are you open to? Do you understand how your unique bank of wisdom allows deposits and authorizes withdrawals? As with any bank account, the balance represents the sum of what you have on account at any given moment. Based on deposits and withdrawals, your balance goes up and down. Wisdom operates much the same way HOW? Think:

Learning = deposits

NOT learning = withdrawals!

For example, each time you do something you KNOW you should not do (and WHY you should not do it), did you choose to learn from that? If so, GREAT! You’ve just made deposit into your wisdom bank. Isn’t this bank amazing? It PAYS you each time you learn from something you KNOW you should not have done! How many banks PAY you for overdrawing your account?

If you did NOT learn from that experience, WHY? Why did you not spend some wisdom (something you ALREADY KNOW) to learn from your experience? Failure to use your wisdom means you’ll spend a vast amount of time relearning the same thing over and over again. Clearly, our species has yet to learn how greed eventually causes us all to fail and fall. Why do we fall so much? Simple Think revenge!

Greed feeds on revenge energy. Revenge happens only when someone wins and someone doesn’t feel like a winner. If some one is less than ethical (greedy) concerning your resources, does this give you the right to get revenge? How true Ghandi’s quote, “An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.” How greed-blind have we become? Clearly, no matter ones’ personal finances, greed seems to be an equal opportunistic disease. Mr Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff opened our eyes to how even those who should know better, become blind at times Michael Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism, A Love Story” is a telling tale about greed. Given the actions of Mr Madoff along with Mr Moore and Ms Creswell’s desire to remove our greed blinders, how’s your vision these days? Post a comment or two in the comment box below on what you sense keeps us blind to greed. (Remember, treat this article like a call to attend a civil discussion. Kindly remember to be respectful of all ideas when you post.)

Recorded history documents multiple times where the gap between the haves and the have-nots become too large. More often than not, when enough have-nots get fed-up with life, life collapses on all fronts. Why? Like any other living entity (human, animal, natural, economic or otherwise) life NEEDS some sort of balance. If things become too chaotic or unbalanced, 95% of the time we experience a collapse or explosion.

For example, if a fever continued to rise for too long a period, within days, death knocks on your door. Why? Your body needs a balanced temperature to do what it does.

So true with other living systems such as a community. When too many people decide (for whatever reason) they want to put in as little effort as possible to receive the largest gain possible, MORE SOMEBODY’s are going to end up with LESS while a select few enjoys MORE. This less/more dynamic creates endless struggles often eating away at one’s health, wealth and ability to grow wise.


Do you need help to rediscover a sense of balance? Click this link. Check out what we’ve been up to for more than a decade!

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