Why avoid the culture of greed?

A young man counting money.

The world of advertising takes advantage of the unmistakable trend toward instant gratification.

People are encouraged to pamper themselves.

Commerce would have us believe that modern conveniences and comforts are absolute necessities.

Why do without, it is argued, especially when credit cards, installment plans, and “buy now—pay later” schemes make it possible to have it all and to have it now?

Besides, ‘You deserve the best; be kind to yourself! 

Remember, either enjoy it now or possibly never!’ So popular slogans claim.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of people in developing lands scrape along on bare necessities—or even less.

Could anything more graphically point up the imperfection and injustice of political and economic systems?

Effects of greed

The wisdom of learning to wait is seen in that millions of people unwilling to do so—or at least seeing no reason to do so—have gone heavily into debt to satisfy immediate desires.

Unforeseen circumstances, such as sickness or unemployment, may mean disaster.

Typically, homelessness is often preceded by unemployment or excessive debts.

Unable to pay their bills, many such unfortunate individuals suffer the tragic loss of both home and possessions.

All too often, increased stress brings family tension.

Shaky marriages begin to break up.

Bouts of depression and other health problems become commonplace.

People who started out by unwisely wanting everything end up having almost nothing.

Many countries have now rejected tried to equalize things by means of a State-controlled economy. 

In contrast with the free enterprise system, the former system provided individuals in those lands a certain economic security that capitalism often fails to give. 

Still, the anxieties exist in the form of shortages of consumer goods and curtailment of personal freedom.

At present, many of those countries are introducing market economies, thus presenting their citizens with a new challenge. 

A recent report says: “Naivety is combined with the desire to reach quickly the western standard of consumption.” 

To achieve this “a growing number of people are drifting into the whirlpool of indebtedness.” 

The report adds: “After the initial euphoria over the new economic freedom fear and despair are now spreading.” 

Anxieties remain, but now they are clothed in capitalistic dress.

Greater political and economic freedoms have opened up new possibilities for economic betterment. 

Hence, many individuals may be tempted to give serious consideration to the idea of moving to another country with better employment opportunities.

Many were thereby able to improve their economic situation, but none of them were able to escape totally the economic anxieties. 

Solving economic problems sometimes created new problems—homesickness, a strange language, getting used to new foods, different customs, fitting in with new friends, or coping with different attitudes.


Learning to wait for the things we want is probably one of the hardest lessons we humans are ever called upon to accept. 

We humans are by nature impatient. 

Whatever catches their eye, they want, and they want it now! 

But as you may know from experience, it is a fact of life that not everything is available on demand.

Even in the case of legitimate desires, we must learn to wait for a proper time to satisfy them.