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Greed Is Good?

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by HariLakhera, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Greed is good.

    'How much land does a man requires' written by Leo Tolstoy in 1886 was in our High School syllabus. The protagonist, a greedy farmer, negotiates a land deal at a very attractive price with the condition a laid down by the owner that at sunrise he can start and cover as much land as he can and returns to the starting point before sunset and the land so covered will be his. He starts at the sunrise as fast as he can and goes east, around turns to left and then again to left and finally to the left towards the starting point. Realizing the sunset is approaching, he speeds up and somehow makes to the starting point only to drop dead. His servant dig s a six feet grave and there he gets buried.

    At that time, it was difficult to understand the message. In face we used to laugh on his lack of proper calculation of time and energy. He could have easily done some mental calculation in advance counting his steps, say if 2000 steps took one hour and so he could at best do 20000 steps in available 10 hours roughly. Again, say, each step measured 2 feet, he could have been the owner of 4000x 4000 = 16000000 sq/ ft of land. Please do not challenge me on these calculations. I am very poor in maths.

    But that was then. We were young, in our teens and it was easy to make fun of anything and everything. Later in life, the dynamics changed. It is not possible to do advance calculation of what will happen tomorrow. We become greedy because we do not know how much will be enough.

    This happy go lucky family was leading a very satisfied life. The family head Mr. X had a good job, savings were good and added to that was the retirement funds. All children settled in life, good retirement fund and regular interest income, what else they needed. As a precaution, they had taken a medical policy also.

    And then the thunder struck. Mr. X was diagnosed with kidney ailment. For a few months he was on medication but then the doctors recommended dialysis, first once in a month, then once in a week and then alternate day. Two years passed and one after the other the deposits were prematurely withdrawn to meet the expenses. Their children also chipped in. They had to take a mortgage on their only two bed room flat. After six years of trauma, financial, mental ,emotional he succumbed.

    This is only an example. There can be N number of eventualities. Modern day life is different than the life our fore fathers lived. I remember having hearted - he was a very lucky man. He passed away peacefully in his sleep. But that was long back and in a country side where regular health check ups after a certain age were not heard of. Had there been these facilities, he would have been treated of his blood pressure, diabetes or heart problem well in time. He could have possibly lived longer and who knows much longer on life support.

    Here arises the question, how much is enough? Why people need to save for future? Why people to amass as much they can because future is uncertain? Is greed is good?

    Gita says to remain calm and satisfied with what comes with our honest and genuine efforts. This is the moral ground. We should not use unfair means to amass wealth but if it comes with our honest and genuine efforts it is always acceptable and welcome. This means that we should keep on augmenting our efforts to earn more and more to accumulate more and more.

    If the above s greed , then, greed is good. The most certain thing abut this journey of life is that it is not certain. If the journey is not certain, the means to make that journey comfortable can also be not certain.
     
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  2. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    True, life is unpredictable. The harsh reality is that we all need money to survive. Just how much is the question. My personal formula is sufficient amount to be able to eat healthily, live comfortably (may be some occasional luxuries thrown in), decent clothes to wear and some savings for the future. Beyond this, it is a waste of life to slog from morning to night, such that there is no free time to relax, enjoy the money one has earned or to spend quality time with the family. If that be the case, one would certainly end up being sick very soon and would need a lot more money for treatment. A sensible balance is what is required.
     
  3. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Hariji,
    How much money is enough? Nobody can tell precisely. Definition varies from person to person and family to family. I have seen....greedy people become stingy also in the race to amass wealth. They do not enjoy the money they earned and when the time comes to go away from this world. Next generation enjoys it. But if closely observed....some one in the family wants to multiply it ....by hook or crook and in the process lose everything.
    So, draw a line....Satchi's definition is good. Right balance is needed.
    Syamala
     
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  4. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:In the absence of greed, perhaps civilisation would have halted at Babylon and none would have made it possible for other civilisations to come up. There would not have been Indus valley civilisation. I tend to endorse your views. Regards. God Bless Us All.
     
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  5. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:Sir, It is said that Lord Venkateswara alias Balaji, Govinda is The richest and daily addition to his affluence easily runs into Crores of Rupees. But it is believed that is only a fraction of interest on the principal amount he had borrowed from Lord Kubera for his wedlock with Shri Padmavathi Thayer affectionately called Ammavaru. Despite his affluence, Kubera seemed to be greedy. So it is difficult to arrive at whether to remain greedy is good or not!!!!

    So even in God's world or in His Uniiverse greed has to be there. The sense of enough or adequacy is difficult to come by.
    Thanks and Regards. God Bless Us All.
     
  6. MonikaSG

    MonikaSG Platinum IL'ite

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    A person is rich up to the time he see the other richer person. We need better interior bcz others r having that. We need better clothes bcz other person is wearing that. We need everything more better than other person. And that other person needs better things than some other person. This makes us keep expecting more from life and keep running behind useless things. We don't even leave the bad habits of others. If someone treat us badly we want to treat them more badly. And that reaction is full of anger and ego. If we need peace then we should live and let live.
     
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  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello:Absolutely correct accurate perspective. Greed for more end in disaster as brought out in the snippet non fiction 3m - Me, Mom & Milk posted on last Sat.
    Thank you & Regards.
     
  8. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Satchi,
    Thanks for your feed back. Just how much? A million dollar a question.
    'Sai itana deejiye Ja me dou smaya, Mai bhi bhooka Na rahoon sadhu na bhook jay' (Lord give me as much that may take care of both -my family and the visiting saint)
    It was said by Kabeer along back. But then he was a Saint himself.
    I would rather go by your personal formula. Considering the present day scenario , a good part of the earning has to be kept in good investments so that if need be can be used for emergencies, particularly medical bills in old age unless of course you live in a country where it is taken care by the government.
     
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  9. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Syamalaji,
    True. A balanced approach is necessary in life for everything. What I have observed that in case of some unfortunate times like prolonged stay in hospitals in old age, nothing looks enough.
     
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  10. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for this story. I heard it first time. Sometimes I wonder if there was no greed which can be another name of ambition, humans should still be in the forests as you said. In that sense greed is good. Even other wise, when medical bills are mounting, thanks to the speciality doctors and hospitals and new types of diseases and new types of treatments and of course ever present desire to live more, money is needed abundantly. So greed is good if it can keep me alive a little more.
     
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