In plain and simple words, greed in general is an inordinate desire. It is inordinate because there is never enough—just like someone immersed in a fresh water river and yet feel a big thirst. It is a desire that is never satisfied nor fully met—akin to somebody continuously eating yet consistently feeling hungry. Avarice, covetousness, insatiability and the like—all these feelings of ever wanting and ever craving are expressions of greed.
The vice of greed is its own punishment precisely because the greedy continuously feels deprived and denied when in fact already over-indulged and much spoiled. “Enough” is not in the vocabulary of someone greedy of anything. More is always less. Less becomes a constant. That is why someone immersed in greed still feels miserable while already in possession of everything and in command of anybody. Greed comes in three categories from bad to worse— the second implies the first while the third includes the two previous ones.
There is the greed for fame. To be known, better known, more and more known. To be famous, continuously famous, ever famous. To be a celebrity, a bigger and greater celebrity. The passage of time, the change of circumstances and the coming of other celebrities—all these are considered either as serious challenges or simply irrelevant. The only matter that counts is that the person greedy of fame continuously basks in the public limelight—no cost spared, no means unused. Never mind if the fame turns to infamy.
There is then the greed for wealth. Needless to say, this is the feverish drive for more money, continuous craving for more wealth. Someone thus greedy could lose count of how much he or she already has, could live in great abundance even after ten or more lives, yet still feels needy. The same might already lose track of his or her bank deposits inclusive of the contents of safety vaults. But there remains a strange feeling of insufficiency and the pursuant bizarre quest for even more material assets.
There is lastly the greed for power. This is the worst kind of greed for the following reasons: It is a strong ominous addiction. It is a fixation that is incurable as well as dangerous. Woe to those who question or oppose the power greedy. The more powerful he or she becomes, the more power is desired and accordingly exhibited—with no holds barred. With the consuming greed for power comes big fright of its end in sight.
In the country today, there are many politicos wallowing in their greed for power. This is especially relevant to the most powerful of them all. This loves power, longs to keep power, spares nothing and no one to cling on to power. There was someone before who hold on tightly to power for some 20 years. There is another one now who speaks of 2010 but certainly looks much further beyond it. The laws of God are observed when advantageous. The laws of man are changed or discarded when they limit the tenure of power. What a scourge—for all!
7 November 2007