Greed is just a perceptual label

    07-Mar-2021
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Birkarnelzelzit Thiyam
Let me break out with a small story first – my father just upgraded his car from A-star to Duster, which was bracketed with a statement from  my mother as, GREED. “Why does your father not feel enough with his A-Star, he really is a greedy person. Few days later – my father was overtaken in traffic by a Range Rover, he  stormed  out  saying – why do these people need such expensive cars in a state like Manipur, Seriously! Greed has poisoned our people.
Now, the big question is, what is greed? Or in simpler sense, is greed a bad thing or a good thing? I have always been told not to be greedy, this really confuses me because when we come down to the basics, greed is just a simple motivation. Then, is motivation a bad thing? Well! Questionable. So, if I am told to answer this or these, I would say – it can be used at its best when controlled. Do you know who are the most motivated groups in this world? ISIS or all those terrorist groups, are they bad? Well! They lost control.
Even motivation stands at its worst when left uncontrolled, so does will be greed. Geed is not really a bad thing. Then, can we control greed? Yes. For a lot of people, you are just operating a market economy with communism around your head and only if you are a communist then you can talk about greed. But when we see only the side of the market economy – we won’t talk about greed but better losses.
If your neighbour gets Rs. 100 Cr per year, you can tax him as much as you want to share it with a lot of people – but leave enough numbers for him to go on too without killing him just coz he is getting too rich. And this is exactly how capitalism is managed.
To a man walking by the side of the road, if he sees a person driving an Alto 800 car alone – that is greed. To the man driving the Alto 800, if he sees a person driving Audi – that is greed. So, greed is just another given or honest obsession – it has no clear limits or definitions. But if you get 100 and share 90 with the rest – trust me that’s a wonderful greed. As the Africans say – when the lion feeds, everybody else gets fed. So, if you are a lion, then you have a big capability of controlling both your loss and profit that should benefit the people around you.
Desires? What are these? How many desires do you have? It’s all versions of dreams, it’s what you want it to happen with you. Let’s be honest – you can’t kill a desire, but it's always easy to create a new one. So, if you have millions of desires in you, don’t you think I do have them as well? I have millions – and thousands are different from you. So, in other words, greed is nothing but a label you put on someone’s desire.
“I want a Lamborghini,” is a desire but “he wants a Lamborghini,” is a greed. It’s a very stupid perceptual label. Looking deep down, greed is nothing but a label someone puts on you. Yes, trying to have everything in this world without sharing is bad. So, share it.
Humans are not designed to want more but all, in instalments humans have the tendency to go till infinity. Human longings will never stop at all, it only will when you are too sick or too old for anything. So, let the longing go on but also should the sharing go on too.
Greed may be a label but without greed, if humans lived only for necessities – trust me, we are just another mammals on earth.

The writer is a major in International Business Marketing from Algonquin College, Ottawa, Canada. He can be reached at [email protected]