10 reasons why greed is good

August 13, 2012

in Home, Personal

Physalis  in a bowl

OK – I confess, I’m not sure I’ll find 10. It’s just that thing about people loving lists and I expect that will bring hundreds of people flocking in…

But greed and appetite haunt us, don’t they? They make us fat and they make us feel bad, so we are used to trying to rein them in.

Then I noticed the other day that Charles is greedier than me sometimes and he gets more for it: it makes him respond to an offer by asking for more, whereas if I get an offer I say ‘hurray’ and leave it at that.

Having started that train of thought I then started thinking about how when we get old our horizons so often shrink. People may be reluctant to engage with computers, or if they do that, they may look with deep suspicion at a Kindle or the conveniences of cloud computing. And look down an ancient nose at a blog or a tweet.

How are we to prevent ourselves joining that shrinking world as we get older? Well, I realise that one thing that keeps me after new tech is …greed. I want more, I want better, I want the latest and I want it now! Tough, I know, when I can’t afford it, but life has always been like that. A little deferment clarifies how much I really want it..

And I realise that that appetite, that greed, is part of what keeps us alive. Greed not just for new tech, but new experiences, new ideas, new people, new foods.

We need greed.

Kitchen ceiling

PS Did you read this because it had ’10 reasons’ ?!

Karlostheunhappy September 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Caught by the title.

Found you via links to Ray (rip).

Anyway, thought it would be worthwhile adding the idea of ‘less is more’ to counter your point on greed. Of course, you can have both – I have often spotted at Tintern philosophy circle that we tend to get easily dragged into binary thinking.

So, greed and apetite – probably animalistic compulsions can exist, in a life, quite happily against abstension.

(btw if you drop by on my blog – follow the philosophy tag for thoughts on previous circle meets – i have been writing on music and politics mostly of late and that might not be yr thing; or it might).

ps. like your reasoning for this blog.

Charles August 15, 2012 at 7:16 am

Are “greed” and “appetite” really interchangeable? Maybe they are. I certainly think that an appetite for new experiences and things seems life affirming but then I also think sometimes that fulfilling these appetites can be like a sort of drug addiction. And sometimes I think that I can think I want something only to find that what I wanted was something else. In fact, I think this is all potentially a bit complicated.

I like your pics but why are you attributing them to me! A tweak in Wordpress required. Xx.

anne August 15, 2012 at 9:27 am

Maybe the difference between greed and appetite is one of degree and indulgence? But they have the same source, which is my point. I am not addicted to tech!

No, seriously, the addictive nature of wanting things and the fact that the wanting can be a cover for some other need is another, and interesting issue. There have been times when I was less happy and would go out shopping, and hate to come away with nothing, whereas now that’s fine, that’s saving money. It was a way of filling a kind of emptiness once. Except it didn’t fill it.

Sorry about the pictures – tweak has been made!

Zoë August 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I think it is entirely possible to be ‘kept alive’ without being greedy or obsessive owning, eating or doing anything. Maybe what you mean is craving? Maybe some people have a ‘need’ (obcession) to be/have the biggest and the best? Maggie Thatcher’s ‘I Want’ generation?

I don’t crave anything – except good health. If that’s greed, then I am a glutton.

What’s the old adage? Good thing’s come to those who wait.

I would add, despite spending 30 odd years designing, developing, and programming computer systems and helping all this tech you crave to exist – I don’t even own a mobile phone, and my computer is something me, my OH and my son have built and rebuilt over the past 10 years.

One admission – I have to say I do lust after a decent pair of secateurs, but I fear they don’t exist anyway because even my Felco’s are a disappointment.

Zoë August 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Is it greed ?

I wouldn’t call it greed to want to experience new experiences, new ideas, new people, new foods.

I would call that curiosity, personal development, enlightenment even – but not greed.

Greed implies an overwhelming desire, avarice and gluttony. I think wanting to improve self, or ones environment is just part the natural flow of things. Its only greed, when its excessive and out of hand?

Just my 2p worth

anne August 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

“I would call that curiosity, personal development, enlightenment even- but not greed.”

Those words do remove the sense of urgency which greed contains, but isn’t that simply a matter of the degree of wanting? They also are morally neutral, or positive, which makes them seem more acceptable, of course.

I’ll stick with my case: no matter what it is you want if it’s big enough, urgent enough, “I want” enough – it’s greed. XXXX

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