Friday, November 20, 2009

Greed and beyond

Even the word has something grrrr about it!

Notice how we are being told that as we are now into difficult times greed is allegedly becoming unfashionable

The rich should tone down their ostentatious lifestyles magazines and pundits tell us

What pray will half the world's media, who feed endlessly breathlessly on the doings of the rich, give us instead?

And do those who take a vicarious pleasure in the doings of the rich and famous want to be fed anything else?

Probably almost certainly not

However for those who want to move on it is time to see that greed is "so yesterday" but then it always was!

Where to go then?

If we are to move away from greed and we all talk about greed, how is it actually defined?

"Greed is the excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of money, wealth, and power

It is generally considered a vice, and is one of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism"

People believe greed is based on incorrectly- connecting material wealth with happiness.

This is caused by a view that exaggerates the positive aspects of an possessing an object; that is to say, acquiring material objects has less impact than we imagine on our feelings of happiness.

This view has been corroborated by studies in the field of happiness economics, which confirm that beyond the provision of a basic level of material comfort, more wealth does not increase happiness

So if greed is self defeating and leads only to an addiction for ever more things leaving us increasingly empty inside..............

What is happiness?

"Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy"

A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion.

Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics.

While direct measurement of happiness presents challenges, tools such as The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire have been developed by researchers.

Positive psychology researchers use theoretical models that include describing happiness as consisting of positive emotions and positive activities, or that describe three kinds of happiness: pleasure, engagement, and meaning.

Research has identified a number of attributes that correlate with happiness: relationships and social interaction, extraversion, marital status, employment, health, democratic freedom, optimism, religious involvement, income and proximity to other happy people

So now you know

Does that really tell you anything you didn't know before?

Possibly the definition of greed and when you read it you think, no I do not want to go down that road thank you very much

The happiness option doesn't really help too much in telling me what to do either as it merely describes the state and not how to get there

It does give clues

It does name those things that are associated with happiness

How many do you have?

How many are you working on?

Are you consciously moving towards greater happiness?

Because if you are then a great big fat point is missing from both the definitions of greed and happiness


Fear is often if not always at root the driving force behind greed

Fear is often if not always at root the inhibition that prevents us experiencing happiness

So why do they not talk about this?

Maybe they don't know

Maybe they don't know the way out

We all have fears

Just a question of how much they dominate your life

So to move beyond greed and towards happiness we need to let go of fear

Letting go of fear is a major part of the journey of life

It is at root what we are all here to learn about

Wherever you are on this journey

If you can be honest with yourself about your fears then you are on your way

To leave greed and selfishness behind and move towards happiness learn your own fears

Just that, and it's not easy because we all like to pretend that we don't have any or that we can control them

Not so for most of us we prefer to shuffle through life ignoring the signs

Be different, find them, get them out, talk about them, it reduces their power over you

And this allows you to move on

Happiness is not the goal but more of it is nice to live with!

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