Greed has been considered and identified as an undesirable trait throughout history. Greed is an uncontrolled desire for increase (whether in material, status, or power.) When we experience greed, we are ultimately leading ourselves towards negativity.
How to Identify It
People experiencing greed tend to exhibit a hunger for more than they already have. This can be hard to understand from a distance but is a common occurrence and one that many of us will experience throughout life. The sense of pain or hunger we derive from greed does not make us feel good but sometimes seems to act as a motivation or driving force in our actions to gain more of what we want. Sometimes greed overcomes people and becomes their primary driver in life; at this point, it is not only unhealthy but worrying behaviour. Trying to find balance in life is something we should aim towards, and greed is the opposite.
Greed is something that can occur both without deliberate attempts and through influences. Often people around us reflect our beliefs, and if greedy people surround us, we may feel the need to keep up to maintain a sense of acceptance within the group. Other times we grow up in environments where greed is exhibited, skewing our understanding of normality and our behavioural patterns. While we often cannot help the influences we have, it helps to understand these things to grow and develop healthier thought patterns and behaviours.
Greed causes unlikeable behaviours and traits in us. We become fixated on things that are not important and become distracted from our relationships and meaningful connections. Not only can this be bad for those around us, but it may also create a sense of detachment in ourselves as well. Greed and materialism cause us to forget the importance of meaningful relationships in our lives by pitting them against the beauty and satisfaction of material possessions. We need to prioritise humanity for our sake and others.
Altruism, Selflessness& Generosity
When we consider the opposite of greed, acting with the above traits is preferable. Showing generosity to other humans, even if we are not close to them, will enable a more positive way of life for all. Sure, it is easy to get caught up in greed because society seems fuelled by wealth and material things. Still, if we forget the meaning of connection and our ability to share with other people, our lives will quickly become cold and meaningless. Just because some people act with greed and seem to have pleasant lives, we should not be brainwashed into seeing greed as our end goal. If we all worked with more extraordinary generosity, the world would be a far more excellent place.
An activity that allows us to turn inwards, such as guided meditation, means being able to detach from the importance of greed and materialism and instead focus on the importance of the mind and human connection.