Need or Greed?

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You toss a stone into a pond. The ripples extend outward until no spot on the pond is calm. This is what’s happening in the world. A group of people jump into the pond of wealth. They want more and more, and the ripples of greed extend outward until there’s nothing remaining for the rest. Mahatma Gandhi simply rephrased this phenomenon when astutely concluding, “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.”

Ask yourself, how much money is present in the world today? How much water? As Americans, we don’t realize the value of some of these resources, taking 20 minute showers, and complaining that we live in poverty when, in fact, we have relatively easy access to necessities, washing machines, ovens, dishwashers, and a roof over your head. This is because we have voice in the government. Because we elect and restrain our leaders to make choices that benefit the majority, a reasonable balance of wealth is present.

Nonetheless, we run into problems in countries such as Syria. There, the government doesn’t care about the people! The present oligarchy is reclining in ornate leather chairs, counting their gold, wishing they could be billionaires instead of millionaires. Meanwhile, Syrians are enraged. Numerous have limited access to water sources, while the overall income rate is shockingly low. You don’t have to be a sociologist to identify the primary cause of rebellion. By using their government status as an incognito to wealth access, the Syrian upper class consists of a few very, very rich people.

Do we support the millionaires who want more money, or the local citizens who want basic necessities? The greedy and conceited dictators will never be satisfied, and will incessantly roam the world, in search for wealth. There is, and will never be, enough sufficiency for man’s greed. What if Syrian adopted a policy comparable to that of America’s? Won’t everyone be able to survive? Everyone will be entitled to obtain a reasonable amount of food, water, a decent shelter, and acceptable living conditions. We should still work hard to earn what’s ours, but the opportunity to prosper must be open to all.

What if we took this idea on a global scale? The amount of money required to end world hunger is a whopping $195 billion! Nonetheless, Americans almost certainly have a few dollars to spare. If they donate this money, ignoring their greed, at a mere rate of $650 per person, world hunger would be terminated. Throwing in Europe and Australia, we need just $150 a person! Compared to the $12 trillion debt America is currently in, that’s a penny!

Gandhi agrees that nature operates on a scale of need, not greed. There’s only a finite amount of resources in the world. We can fight over it, blast each other with nuclear weapons, and leave others in the dust, or we can all live in harmony, and bring the phrase, “Sharing is caring”, to reality. The choice is ours.





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