You Be the Judge

January 16, 2009
By Lillian Shields, Coopersburg, PA

What is greed? What is giving? Are they two extremes, or are we simply looking at them the wrong way? What would be charitable feelings if we didn’t have covetous feelings? Who would give if there were nothing involved in it for them? Who would be avaricious if there were nothing to give that could be coveted? If you really think about it, one can never have anything without a reciprocal for such thing. Every emotion or characteristic has an opposite, and without its opposite, it couldn’t be what it is.
In any case, whether you are thoroughly convinced that you are doing something for somebody else unconditionally, there will always be something for you, even if that means that whatever that something if for you is small, such as simply the feeling of doing something philanthropic. It is possible to say that someone has “greed for good” meaning that they get that mental high when donating or doing something good for someone else. I believe that even in these cases, that person is doing something for his or her own self.

On the other hand, there would be no such thing as avarice if we were not gluttonous ourselves. When one gives another something, it could cause others to become envious of that person receiving the contribution. In a more abstract way, one can also give another feelings of avarice. If you think about it, when someone is supplying another person with something that they want, and make them feel good from this sentiment or possession, that usually gives them the incentive to want it more. Therefore, one can be giving another person greed!

In romance novels or movies, a partner can give their love to someone else, but they are also doing it because they feel greed for the love of the other. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo feels greed because he wants to have Juliet and love her, even though it is against her guardian’s wishes. Just the same, Juliet feels greed as well. They both give one another love in return. This interaction is not only found in love, but in loathing as well. Not only in the emotion of loathing, but in fear as well. You can find this pattern in practically any relationship.

So, furthermore, I believe that if it is not possible to have one thing without another, then each characteristic (greed as well as giving) is equally impacting our society. So, are they really two extremes, or simply perceived the wrong way? You be the judge.

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