Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Greed is Evil

It has been almost a year since the terror attacks in Mumbai. It was a mindless display of hatred and violence against helpless and innocent civilians. The terrorist who was captured says he was instructed to create fear by killing as many people as he could while he was still alive and had ammunition. Many lives were lost and many more people were injured in the two days of carnage.

A question that comes up is how do we prevent such attacks in future and how do we create conditions for a peaceful life. Lot of talk and discussions have revolved around increasing the level of intelligence networking, patrolling, security forces and arming ourselves with superior weapons. Retaliatory attacks were also considered as a possible option.

While all of these may be good deterrents, they are by themselves not enough. Haven't we seen endless bouts of violence in some countries and regions? We know through history that permanent peace cannot be brought by violence or by suppression. An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world become blind, said Gandhiji. The solution to permanent peace lies elsewhere.

The root cause of most problems is greed. As long as greed exists, men will continue to seek more, acquire more and amass more. In modern world today, greed is considered as an acceptable behaviour. People think progress is linked to greed. It is not just the political leaders or the criminals who have greed. All of us can be accused of indulging in greed. The only difference, perhaps, could be in the methods used to satisfy our greed. Even nations sometimes display behaviour that originates in greed.

When the society thus allows greed to occupy a space, it starts manifesting itself in various ways. Come to think of it, we are all jostling each other to get a larger slice of the world's resources. Some do it subtly or by using their intelligence or talents. Some, who do not have these skills use other methods. Some use power and indulge in violence. The terrorists, in many ways, represent the cruder or crueler form of greed satisfaction. The objective of their greed is power and all that it can achieve.

The important question to ask ourselves would be whether greed should have a space in our society. If we say yes, we will continue to live in a dangerous world. And if the answer to this is negative, we should ponder on how to eradicate greed. How do we create conditions wherein greed is abolished from our hearts? How do we learn of be satisfied with what we have and not crave for what we have not? How do we make values-based-living (VBL) as the most popular and sought after lifestyle?

Any thoughts?


Amritbir Kaur said...

Very well said, we are all greedy quite often, if not always. "How do we learn of be satisfied with what we have and not crave for what we have not?" - you have raise a very pertinent question here. We are always dissatisfied with our lot,never ever giving a serious thought to what we possess. We always want to have what we don't have or what others have. We should rather stop wanting what we don't have, and start wanting what we have.
But that's quite a difficult thing to do...easier said than done; especially when we have a lot many dreams in our eyes and wanting to realise them. But that's what life is...we can try at least..nothing is impossible after all

Anonymous said...

Every evil,harm and suffering in life comes from excessive greed and envy. Evil minded people exercise their power over others causing destruction both to themselves and to those over whom it is exercised.

The root of evil is not only greed and corruption but the system which bred it. We might not be able to set the whole system right, but being part of it we could atleast educate ourselves and those around us.

Today being 26/11 we must take a pledge that in our own small way we must create an awareness level in the people to face crisis situations, help those who are in need and help fight evil both within us and around us..


Anya said...

Very well written as always ;)
Yes there are many good and bad things going on in the world,
but I think we normal people can't change it !!!
Have a wonderful day

surjit said...

And what is the root cause of greed???
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
God bless.

Vishwanath Seshadri said...

# Amritbir, Anya and Tyaagi - thanks for your comments

# Surjit - Good question Sir.. I know I could have gone further and addressed this in the blog... but sometimes it is better to not go too deep... Ultimately it is the ego sense which is thrust upon us by maya that needs to be conquered... Instead of fighting an unknown devil (ego), we can succeed even if we control the symptoms (greed). Thanks for this thought provoking comment.