Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles. -Harry S. Truman
I wish this were a lesson that more people could have learned long ago so that so many greedy politicians who have been elected recently never would have gotten their votes. So, many mean corporate people who raise prices excessively could be controlled somehow. Yes, some politicians and businesspeople aren’t greedy, kind, generous and compassionate. Still, our world seems dominated by the greedy, and we’re all paying a hefty price for this fact.
We have many problems in our society, both on the national and personal level, and so many of those problems can be traced to selfish deeds and actions on the part of people who are “in charge.” Truman was certainly right when he said what he did, and we continue to suffer from the same problem now that he pointed out so clearly when he was alive.
So what do we do about it? First of all, of course, we don’t want to be the pot that’s calling the kettle black–it’s important that we keep our wants and desires realistic and moderate, lest we fall into the trap of being greedy and selfish ourselves. We can do all we can to encourage others to practice moderation for their good, not because we think they should be moderate. We can educate others on the negative outcomes of greed so that during the next election cycle, whenever that is, perhaps more of the people who focus on greed and selfishness will be voted out of the offices they hold.
Other people’s greed is difficult to witness, for we see the negative results on everyone, while it seems that the greedy themselves have no idea of the harm they cause. And there seems to be so little chance for change–and we all know that even when we do change, the replacements often are just as bad or worse as those they are replacing. Our only true recourse is to ensure that we don’t practice those things that harm others and take care of our yard before we criticize the yard on the other side of the fence.
Questions to consider:
Why are so many people so greedy? What are they afraid of?
How do greedy people harm others?
Why are so many greedy people successful in their quests to hold public office? Why do people vote for them?
For further thought:
The ugliest thing in America is greed, the lust for power and domination, the lunatic ideology of perpetual Growth–with a capital G. “Progress” in our nation has for too long been confused with “Growth”; I see the two as different, almost incompatible, since progress means, or should mean, change for the better–toward social justice, a livable and open world, equal opportunity and affirmative action for all forms of life. And I mean all forms, not merely the human. The grizzly, the wolf, the rattlesnake, the condor, the coyote, the crocodile, whatever, every species has as much right to be here as we do. -Edward Abbey
Postcards from Ed