Graceless Greed

Greed is such an ugly word.  Then again, the act of being greedy isn’t very pretty either.  What troubles me the most is how this one simple word can completely change someone’s life, and NOT in a positive way.

I had a former co-worker that appeared to have it all.  She was dating a very successful man who proposed to her on a beach at sunset (Sigh!).  The ring he presented her with was HUGE.  You could definitely see if from the moon.  No telescope needed.  Pretty soon, they were building their dream house together.  His parents were even gracious enough to allow them to stay at their house until the project was completed.

After I left that job, I later found out that this woman was cheating on her husband…with a fellow co-worker!  Needless to say, she lost her husband, ring and house.  More recently, she just lost her job.  While I do not wish her any ill will and certainly do not want her to be jobless, she brought most of this on herself. 

What I cannot fathom is why she did it.  She literally had everything that most girls would have killed for.  But, yet, she wanted more.  Greed has a way of destroying people.

I have also noticed that greed can alter someone’s outlook on life.  Someone very close to me was talking about a belated birthday present that she had received from a friend.  The gift was a $15 iTunes card.  While I thought that this was a wonderful gift (music is a staple in my life), this person was greatly displeased.  She felt that the gift “wasn’t her.”  Like her friend put no thought, time or effort into selecting a gift.

On the contrary, I know that her friend thought long and hard before purchasing the iTunes card.  She wanted to get the perfect gift.  And she knew how much this woman loved music as she always has her iPod playing in the morning before the start of work.  I thought that the gift was quite fitting.

So, why is this woman so ungrateful?  Having attempted to purchase presents for her, I know that this is no easy task.  As the years go by, she gets pickier and pickier about what she wants.  And if the exact item is not given, a look of disdain crosses her face.  Then you know that you have failed at pleasing her.

How does greed manage to worm its way into people’s hearts and minds?  Personally, I do not think that TV shows like “Real Housewives” help in keeping this culprit at bay.  We see all of the glamor and glitz that others are enjoying and think that in order to be happy, we need to do and have the same things.

When was the last time that you took a good look around you?  I mean really looked at your life and counted your blessings.  My husband and I are certainly not where we thought we would be in life by age 28.  But, we recognize the fact that we are very fortunate, none the less.  We both have jobs, a lovely house, beautiful fur babies and each other.  I would say that our cup runeth over.

And on those days when greed attempts to claim me as another victim, I think about our sponsor child in Sri Lanka.  She recently wrote us a letter stating that she had just learned the importance of bathing every day.  This child is only in the third grade and is now discovering how to be healthy.  She lives in a poor country where education is a luxury, not a right.  Running to the local fast food restaurant to grab a quick bite is out of the question because these places do not exist.  Not to mention the fact that her parents are making very little money.

Yet, in the picture she sent us, she is grinning from ear to ear as she happily waters one of her family’s crops.  This little girl has nothing.  Still, she acts as though she has everything.

In the words of the Sidewalk Prophets, “I wanna live like that.”  Not poor in a third world country, but, happy and thankful for the things and people that I have in my life.  To be appreciative every day for the love and beauty that surrounds me.

So the next time that greed tries to rear its ugly head at me, I will look it dead in the eye and say, “No, thank you.  I have everything that I could ever need.”


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