GREED has plagued mankind down through the centuries. Militaries have been greedy for land. Leaders have been greedy for power. Individuals have been greedy for money, and all this selfishness has caused untold suffering.

GREED drives us to purchase products that provide only temporary satisfaction. If the same money was used to save the life of a starving child the benefit would obviously last throughout that child’s lifetime. However, your generosity would also have a ripple effect on all the other lives that were touched by the child you saved. That amount of money could produce amazing results over decades while the product you bought would have long since stopped working. Every time we spend money on material things we don’t really need we are wasting funds that could be used to give others hope and restore their dignity.

GREED induces a mob mentality. Because someone else has something, we think we have to have it. We think it will make us popular. We believe it makes us part of the group. We get caught up in the race to keep pace with what others have. Whether or not we actually need something becomes a mute point. All we care about is the next purchase. When someone is greedy there is a corresponding negative effect on some innocent person somewhere. Greed does not operate in a vacuum. It hurts defenseless people.

GREED impairs our judgement. We continually buy things we don’t really need. We shop to relieve stress. Spending money becomes a habit. It establishes a pattern of behavior that we aren’t even aware of. When we give into greed, we are compromising ourselves and others. Greed causes us to feel that we are always entitled to get whatever we want, even if it is at someone else’s expense.

GREED is a dangerous emotion because it can never be satisfied. No matter how much you have – you want more. Once we actually have enough for ourselves and our families what compels us to spend more and more on unnecessary things? Is it peer pressure? Is it the desire for endless comfort and convenience? Is it the brief rush of excitement we get when we buy a big ticket item? All of these reasons pale in comparison to what it means to use that same money to improve the lives of those living in extreme poverty.

GREED robs us of our ability to think clearly. We sit in our 2,000 square foot homes with five TVs, DVRs, surround sound, 300 cable channels, bathrooms filled with expensive cosmetics, medicine cabinets stocked with every drug imaginable, refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, video game systems, stove, microwave, a two car garage filled with late model cars that each cost more than a person in Africa will make in their lifetime and yet…… we don’t like the furniture in the master bedroom. We really want to landscape the yard and put in a sprinkler system. The dining room only seats eight so each Thanksgiving, when we stuff ourselves with thousands of calories, it is hard to fit everyone at the table. And on top of all that – we are not happy about turning gray, having crows feet around our eyes or the sad state of our finger nails…..But, of course, the money we want to spend remodeling the dining room could be used to keep children from starving to death. The money we want to spend on a sprinkler system for the lawn could be used to provide safe drinking water for hundreds. The money we want to spend on new bedroom furniture could be used to purchase thousands of mosquito nets to ward off malaria. And the money we want to spend on wrinkle creams, hair dye and nail care products could be used to buy life saving vaccines and antibiotics for those without medical care. It is important that we think clearly.

It is not the accumulation of worldly goods that make us better people or better nations, it is how we treat the most vulnerable.




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