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From My Heart: Greed

Thu, 02 Oct 2008 17:15:00
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To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, it’s me again. Just one person talking to another from the heart. I would like to talk about greed and being self-centered. When I think about what’s going on with our economy today – the corporate bankruptcies and the bail-outs – I see how destructive greed can really be.  What happened to the middle-class, the class that sustains our economy? Did the middle class become poor? It seems like the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. There are a lot of people suffering today.

It’s all about me, right? Years ago, I experienced being self-centered. I didn’t see why I couldn’t have all the nice things I desired, ignoring the fact that I didn’t have the money to pay for them. Like the Saab 900 I purchased when I was in my early 20’s. I couldn’t afford it, but I thought I should have it because I liked it. So, instead of getting a car I could afford, I got my Saab. When I drove the car, I felt important; people noticed me and made me feel appreciated. This of course was all superficial and fleeting. Needless to say, the car caused a great amount of stress and financial hardship (as if there wasn’t enough of that already) on me and my family. I knew I had to do the right thing and sell the car. When I did, I felt immediate relief and peace within my family. I didn’t have my nice car anymore, but I had a car – a car to get me to work and home again, to my kids’ school, and anywhere else I needed to go. Isn’t that what’s important?

I learned a valuable lesson about “living above my means.” Living above my means was caused by me wanting more than I needed. I learned to recognize that when my needs were met, that was enough. Today I have learned to live within my means. I encourage my family to cut down on excess spending and to utilize what we already have. We review wasteful spending and cut it from our budget. We look at what we have in our possession, and if we cannot use it ourselves, we donate or sell it.

I now believe in enjoying only the ‘fruits of my labor’. I used to try to enjoy more ‘fruit’ than I produced. I learned the hard way that if I try to enjoy more ‘fruit’ than I produce it will only lead to disaster. It is important to recognize greed because it leads to destruction. It is also foolish to spend money that you don’t have on things that you don’t need. I’ve learned that when my desires are motivated by greed, in the long run everyone and everything in my life suffers –me, my family and my finances. Whenever I start to feel greedy and self-centered, I try to reject that feeling and be a blessing to others.

Through hard work and discipline we can all sustain our families, even thrive, and be able to help others.  To give to others is a wonderful thing. I believe it is our duty to help those who are truly in need, starting with our own family. Our own personal greed affects the world around us. Change can come, but it must start with me, myself, and I. As Ghandi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
These are just my experiences. If I have reached the heart of just one person, I will feel I have been of some worth today. I am not judging anyone, so please do not judge me.

Your Humble Servant

 
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