“The king had the dead men properly buried,
laid to rest in two solid tombs. On each of
them he had inscribed:
‘Greed has robbed many a man of his freedom,
and more than that if he gets hooked-
she makes him trot till he is dead.” (17)
“Escrive i fait: ‘Par coroitise
Toit a saint home sa francise,
Et plus aroec-quant S’i amort
Troter le fait jusque a la mort.”
Background: There comes to the kingdom a count with two twin daughters. Two native counts marry the girls. Yet, a quarrel ensues over the inheritance, because each count claims to have the elder girl. It was legal right that the eldest daughter laid claim to the inheritance, but these were twins and both counts wanted the land. So the counts arrange a date for hand-to-hand combat. Despite the barons trying to make peace the two counts end up killing each other in the combat. King Evan, distraught over the case, decrees that women may no longer claim land and he has the two counts entombed with this inscription stating the cause of their deaths: Greed.
Thought: Taking more of one’s share seems to be a common ritual to being American. Everything is extra large, including the slurpees at 711. In fact, our mindset is, as a collective, very far from condoning these wants. We eat more than we need, we spend more, we sleep more, we even work more. The end result is that we will, eventually, grind ourselves down to death and the planet along with it. Resources are finite. “Worldwide, the amount spent on goods and services at the household level topped $20 trillion in 2000, a fourfold increase over 1960.” This is a major red flag. What is the 21st century person so much more in need of? This is all why it is so important we share and preserve for future generations. More importantly, greed can be destructive and has potentially harmful effects on society and politics as a whole. Being trillions of dollars in debt, for example, is a call to action for American’s to change our lifestyles. If we don’t slow down our outrageous consumption, we will drive ourselves off a cliff and plunge out of the records of history, being labelled as the fools we deserve to be called.
Intention: If we make a decision to live more simply we can truly change the world and avoid self-destruction. We ought to critically examine our lifestyle and habits and ask ourselves: Am I taking more than I need to? In what ways can I share with others or change my habits to be more moderate? Am I living simply? Take a timeout to consider all the plenteous things you have in your life: A home, a family, a good job or friends. Consider how living a more moderate lifestyle may alleviate some of the stresses that have been making you toil and sweat so much. Often, we set a heavy yoke on ourselves and take on far more than is necessary. This is pride and not a really equitable way of living, nor does it promote self love…
“Avarice, the spur of industry.” David Hume
Here are a few questions to stir the imagination… How much do you spend every weekend on fizzy drinks and cigarillos? What do you eat for breakfast? How many times a week do you shower? Flush the toilet? Run the dishwasher? Run the wash for laundry? Eat red meat? Now compare your lifestyle and routines to the poorest child in West Africa. What does he eat every day? Does he shower? Fizzy drinks? …You get where this is going?