“There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi …
In spite of the objective scarcity of the Earth’s natural resources–productive resources are limited… but human desire for more is unbounded–there exists an abundance on this Earth for everyone that lives on it. It is therefore, quite a shame that we have such inequity in the distribution of these resources. And although no one is to blame, for those who have more–like their poorer brethren–are simply following the norms of the societies and cultures in which they live, aspiring to something greater, and seeking happiness as best they know how, we each have the ability to be charitable individuals in mind, body, and spirit. Our greed, on the other hand, does have limits on resources that can appease it, and we need not look far to discover individuals who are desperately seeking to fill their unquenchable desires by acquiring more of something that they already have.
There are things in my life that I seldom use… things that are sitting on shelves, or packed away in storage collecting dust. I could allow those things to continue to lie idle for another day, month, or year, but they will probably never really serve any purpose to me and that would be a waste. And so I wonder to myself, if perhaps, there just might be someone else out there who could use these things–someone who has a real need and a purpose for them. And although I usually end up donating a lot of these things to the local Christian thrift store, the fact that I bought them in the first place bothers me a little, because it means that my greed won out over my desire to share of the resources with others.
If everyone would put forth a little more effort to be more kinder, compassionate, and generous human beings–people who would not let their greed provoke them into acquiring more than they actually need–our world would be a much more pleasant place to live in for all. Perhaps if we could just remind ourselves each morning, “there is enough in the world to fulfill the needs of everyone,” when we do come across something that we know we do not need, we might consider leaving it for someone else who does. This line of thought can lead us towards a more healthy self-awareness and perspective in life; one in which we often might recognize when our desires are coming from a place of need, and when they are coming from a place of greed.
Whenever our greed exceeds our need, we misuse the natural and God-given resources that we have been blessed with. And whenever we are more generous and equitable with the resources of this Earth, helping not just ourselves but also others to meet their needs, we contribute towards the fair distribution of its resources which results in a much happier place for all to live in.
Only take what you need; and if you are up to the challenge, help someone else to meet the needs of their day.
Questions to consider:
How many people think about whether or not they are following their need or their greed? What is the difference?
Is it possible that “greedy” is not as negative a thing as we are told it is? How would you use the term–as a slam or as a descriptive term?
What would it take for people to start focusing on their needs instead of their greed?
For further thought:
“It would be interesting to see what would happen to this world if each person wanted and took just enough for them to get by comfortably and in style. Is that what paradise would be like?” ~ unattributed