Thursday, 30 June 2011

Observing greed

I feel the need to post about this subject as it's something I frequently observe in life.

People who have money often want more. Some people have so much money that they don't know what to do with it. Instead of investing in something worthwhile, they'll whittle it away on useless luxuries. What eventually happens is these people see only themselves and things that they want. They fail to see others in need.. A memory springs to mind:

As I walk down the street appreciating the air I breathe and the nature around me, I suddenly see a ghastly sight. A woman walking briskly with a paper coffee cup in her hand, trailing behind her is a puny little man overloaded with shopping bags and his girlfriend's designer handbag. She tosses the paper cup in the gutter and tells him to hurry up as she has more shopping to do. Both of them are completely oblivious to everyone else around them, they are in their own little bubble.

I've particularly observed scenes of this nature during fasting periods or times when I've had little money. I haven't felt jealous of these people at all but merely pity. I'd rather walk by a lake and appreciate the wind blowing in my hair, than walk by a glass window looking at bags made from animal skin..

Just the other week I observed someone order an enormous slice of cake only to eat about a quarter of it. I could have bought two if I'd wanted but I wasn't hungry and am certainly not greedy. Buying just for the sake of it, because you have the money and want people to see that you can afford luxuries really is a sad sight. Materialistic society arouses greed so that people spend money and will never be contented with what they have. There is always something better or more delicious than what was the most delicious yesterday.
"I'll have the chocolate cake today as I had the cheesecake yesterday"
Of course, on my travels I’ve also met some very selfless people. I’ve been to some very poor areas where people have invited me into their homes and offered me food (possibly their only meal of the day.) These generous people, with not an ounce of greed in their body, have wanted nothing in return for their generosity except a smile.

Perhaps it takes someone to lose everything to appreciate what they have. In the past, I have lived with next to no money, I have been very ill to the point where I thought I was going to die. So much so that when I earned money and regained my health I appreciated the life I have.

"That which observes greed is not greed: that which is greed cannot observe itself, but that which is not greed can observe itself."
- Buddha wisdom


  1. Interesting post on your observations on greed. Blessings.

  2. Thanks for reading, it's been a topic I've wanted to write about for quite some time...