Greed (Latin, avaritia)

Greed (or avarice, covetousness) is, like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed (as seen by the church) is applied to the acquisition of wealth in particular. Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed.

Now this is the first sin I can’t really relate to. First of all, I don’t like excess. Except maybe in craziness or other fun stuff, I’m more of a moderate person. I’m not out to become a wealthy person, although I am more of a career person, but I chose this line of employment because it interests me, not because it pays a whoop-load of money (which it doesn’t, especially not in comparison with what you have to invest). If that were my motivation, I should have become a lawyer or a brain surgeon, like my parents wanted me to.

I just don’t get what other people see in huge amounts of money. I mean, have you seen rich people lately? Yuck, I don’t want to be like them. I don’t want to orient my life towards material goods. If there is a piece of furniture or whatever that I’d like to hang on to, it’s because of sentimental value. Something isn’t worth more to me if it costs more (way to stab american capitalism in the back, eh?). In fact, most of the time someone asks me: oh that’s nice, how much did it cost? I have no idea. Because I judge the worth of something before I buy it, and if it’s ok, then I don’t think about the price after that. If I ever do buy something expensive, I’ll probably feel guilty for a long while after anyway.

Maybe that comes from an ex-boyfriend. His family was obsessed with wealth, probably because they aspired to a level they could never attain, and thought we had more than we actually do. My mother’s appearance often makes that impression. But that often led to a conversation going: “how much did that cost?” “I’m uncomfortable talking about money.” “Oh right, money isn’t something you talk about, it’s something you have“. Dumb answer, asshole.

Even as a kid I wasn’t the type to say: “I want this! Gimme!”. First of all because it wouldn’t have worked, and second because I was more for spiritual wealth, like going to see Mickey’s Birthday Show in Disneyland. 100 times. In a row. And the only times I stole something was a piece of candy (in New York, none the less) and a stuffed Snoopy from preschool, which I still have and cherish. Otherwise I am totally against trickery or manipulation. But maybe I’m not the right person to write on this subject. After all, I’ve never had it hard when it comes to money, although there were scary threatening times. But I still just see money as a mean to maintain a certain living standard, which doesn’t include wealth.


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