Musing ahead alert. A recent situation set me to pondering about the insidious nature of greed and if jealousy was not in fact an element of greed. Before I proceed with that thought, Christianity lists the sins as “pride, covetousness (also known as avarice or greed), lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth”, with some verbal tweaking over the centuries. Keeping in mind the “sins” are related to the Ten Commandments, although not a one-for-one.
So, if you take, “Thou shalt not covet”, as the sin of “envy”, think about what causes one to envy. Someone wants something someone else has. Isn’t that, in a way, “greed”? While the concept of greed brings to mind money, it can certainly be any material item, but also a desire for that position at work, that prestige, that marriage/relationship, those looks; pick from multiple categories. Granted, if someone is impoverished and simply envies someone who isn’t, then it may not be considered greed. On the other hand, many people who are not impoverished may well want more – more of many things which does reflect a level of greed even though it is easily defined as envy. Carrying that further, greed can then lead to terrible and ugly behaviors/actions. I’ll set aside the truly horrible of wars waged and “turf battles” for the sake of this post. How about “office politics” that causes strife among co-workers? Or cutting down other individuals in a social setting? On a larger scale, businesses that raise prices for that extra profit when they think they have a “captured market”? In trying not to stray into politics, one of the hallmarks of capitalism is to open the way for that individual who can figure out how to “break the hold on a market” and offer a better deal. As we see though, greed can strike again and efforts can come together to “squeeze out the competition”. In a lot of cases though, the new can hang on and maybe not replace the “top dog”, yet maintain a solid footing.