If you read this introduction already, just scroll down and start reading about Greed, otherwise it is recommended that you read the introduction bellow.
Let’s analyze how these common vices can affect your business and your overall income. You may think that the concept of deadly sins is a religious one and do not apply to you, but you may call them negative tendencies if you want. The fact is that you can find them in more or less intensity within most people.
You may not realize that one of these tendencies may be affecting you until I show you the details. If you realize that there is a problem, I will also give you the solution so you can fix it. I will explain and compare now the most common negative tendencies among people with their corresponding opposite virtues.
Before we start, I need to tell you something . . .
I. Most sins arise from: FEAR.
II. Most virtues arise from: LOVE.
III. Sins, vices and negative tendencies demonstrate weakness, while virtues demonstrate strength.
In my opinion the biggest virtue of all is COURAGE/CONFIDENCE, because it is the direct fruit of love, which dissipates fear and sow all other virtues in human’s hearts.
This is a series of articles about this subject. The whole series contain the following articles . . .
– Greed –
This is a very destructive tendency. Greed seeks to take its “fair share” and a bit more. It is not concerned about giving but receiving. It is not only related to money, but to everything else. I will give you a few examples bellow.
An example of greedy people is those who have abundant resources and not only do not share them, but also seek to “spend” the resources of others. They resent to have to share what they have.
This sin is commonly related to money, wealth and material possessions. The truly greedy individual never think they have enough. That’s why they don’t share. They think that they are behind the norm, but their norm has no limits. Furthermore, they seek to spend other people’s resources. I guess that’s what people hate the most about greedy individuals.
For example, let’s say that someone is a millionaire. This person has family and friends and he knows that they are poor. The person in question is always trying to take advantage of his family and friends. He asks them for money regularly. He uses their resources and waste them. For many years they help him.
They don’t like this person much though, because they notice that he is self centered. Their relationship seems to be one way only. Everything is about him. One day they discover that this individual is the wealthiest in the family and group of friends. That’s when everybody turn their back against him and hate him to death.
Greedy individuals can not understand why other people hate them. Often they confuse this hate with envy. It is simply unjust to try to spend the resources of people that have much less than you do, when you have abundant resources yourself.
Now, understand as a business owner that there exists a stereotype in society. Very wealthy individuals are often accused of being greedy no matter how generous they may be. If someone is very rich, many people will think that person is greedy even if they don’t know him/her. Specially haters (those who feel envy for others) tend to think that the rich are greedy.
Greed do not manifests itself in your life when you don’t share your wealth with others. You are not obliged to share your personal belongings. Understand that if you are rich, many people will resent your prosperity. They will accuse you of being greedy, even if you are not. You are not obligated to share your money nor resources with anybody. That’s a fact. Now, the truly greedy people are hated not because of their wealth , but because of their attitude. Let me explain.
Greed is an attitude. It arises out of the fear of losing what you already have. It is not like gluttony which seeks to consume more than it needs. It is concerned about not giving. Greedy people want to have so much that they can not possible run out. They are focused on getting and receiving.
I will give you a couple of examples to help you notice the difference. Let’s say that you are a millionaire and you are living the good life. Many people hate you and many people feel envy for you. They resent your prosperity. Often strangers come to you and ask you for money and some of your stuff. They could be the friend of the friend of the friend of a very old friend. Do you get the point?
Now, you always reject these people and send them back to their place. They go out saying: “greedy bastard, I wish he/she dies.” By not sharing your stuff with these haters, you are not being greedy, you are being wise. Why would you share your hard earned wealth with people that have not helped you get it? When people receive things for free, they don’t appreciate it. No matter how rich you are, you don’t have to share your money with strangers.
On the other hand, if you are regretting the fact that you spent a few dollars taking your friends to lunch, while you are rich, then that’s greed. Another example of greed is as follows . . .
You own an offshore corporation. You import goods into the country you live. You have a few employees on that offshore country. They generate most of your profits for years. You pay them a pittance in wages. They produce five hundred times more than what you pay them. You know this and you don’t care. You have not risen their salary for years. Some of them ask you for a rise. You threaten them with firing them. They start a revolt. You have to close the company. You lose a lot of money. That’s greed!
Greed opposes generosity. While you are not obligated to share your resources with anybody, generous people do it and they do it often. I will tell you how generous people are: they do not fear being poor. They give and they enjoy doing it. This covers many areas of life. Greedy people hate to share anything if they are not going to receive some remuneration in exchange for their giving.
For example, if they have knowledge, they don’t enjoy sharing that knowledge unless someone pay them. Whenever they give something, they always expect to receive more than what they give. They never give just for fun. They don’t like to do favors of any kind.
They think that they don’t have enough. Their thought processes are as follows: If I don’t have enough how am I going to share what I have with others? Other people should share what they have with me! That’s how they think. The funny thing is that they could have excess already and still think that way.
Generous individuals do share and they share a lot. It is a pleasure for them to give. They enjoy giving and sharing. They like to share their time, money, knowledge, strength, efforts, love, etc.
The key is to not share your resources with people that want to rip you off, but to give to those that are really in need. The idea is not to share everything either. Some people are too generous and they lose their shirt. As I say in another article, in my opinion it is irresponsible to give to strangers what you need for your daily support.
This is the idea . . . A generous person doesn’t mind spending some money on friends and family sometimes. They enjoy giving. They like to bless others. They care about people and like to see them happy. There are many ways you can be generous without spending too much money, too much time or too much efforts on other people.
Sponsor a child if you can afford it. Help people whenever you can. Organize a party and invite your friends. Invite your employees to a pizza sometimes and pay for it. Be kind to people. Share some of your knowledge freely. Whenever you make a gift, don’t expect to receive anything in return. Donate to charity.
It is all about the attitude. For example, if a homeless come to you asking for money, it may be easier for you to give that person a few coins than to say no. On the other hand, if you are sure that person will “smoke” your money, you show greater generosity by refusing to give them the money. Not all homeless people are like these, but I have encountered many asking for money with the cigarette on their hand.
In that case above, you are being generous by not giving them anything, because you are contributing to their health and well being. That’s why some people say that if you give money to the poor, you will perpetuate their poverty. That’s not always true. I believe that a good way to show generosity is by sponsoring kids and donating to charities. Just make sure that your donations are being used as you intend it.
You can be wealthy and generous at the same time. Generosity is something that comes from the heart. It arises out of love, the desire to bless others and see them joyous. It focuses on giving, not receiving.
When you are rich and generous, you don’t care when others tell defamations about you. You have peace of mind. You know that to the best of your knowledge you always take the best possible decisions. Sometimes you can’t simply give money to others, because they will use it to buy crack or whatever poison they take.
On the other hand, some times people have the chance to help each other and they don’t do it just because they don’t care. Generosity means to walk the extra mile. It means to not be obsessed with receiving. It means to not care to give more than is expected.
You may ask: “How all this may affect your business?” It can affect you a lot! Greedy people do not prosper. They tend to become poor and stay poor, despite the general idea that the rich are greedy. Statistics show that the rich give more. When you give, you receive, because “you reap what you sow.” As the Bible says: “It is better to give than to receive.”
Generous people are prosperous. Greed is one of the worst enemies of wealth. If you have a business and you are greedy, people won’t buy from you. If you rise the prices for your products or expect to make too much, they will leave and go buy from those who have lower prices. You will have to close doors quickly.
If you pay miserable wages to your employees and exploit them, that will reflect on your overall profits. They may leave too and you will have troubles. Most successful business owners sell at reasonable prices and are nice with their employees. If you rip off your clients, word of mouth will work against you.
Of course, some people become rich by being greedy, but most of them don’t really enjoy their fortunes. They feel guilty or they are too concerned about losing their wealth, so they hide it. At the end, someone else enjoy the fruit of their labor. Some people just can’t realize that we humans don’t live forever. No matter how much or how little you have, one day you will have to let it go, like everybody else.
If you read the other articles on this series, you will realize that the common characteristic behind this negative tendencies is: selfishness. If you are absolved with yourself, you will show one or more of these tendencies on your daily actions. The solution is to live a less selfish lifestyle. By changing your attitude, you may change the outcome of your actions. You may be amazed at the results and you will feel happier and successful.