We’ve all heard the term ‘self-sufficiency’ sometime in our lives. The true meaning of self sufficiency is achieved when we outgrow our material interests, when man thinks beyond materialistic desires and achieves a state of satisfaction with whatever he has. Every man on this earth has plenty of needs to cater to and he has to really work hard to fulfil every need of his. To meet his needs and take care of his family, he works really hard and earns income to fulfil his obligations.
Needs Vs desires
Every month the supply of cooking gas is essential in every household, because without that we cannot cook food and will have to starve. So, the requirement of cooking gas is basically a need. Suppose we find our mobile phone to be a little outdated when compared with our friend and think it would be a good idea to replace it with a much better version available in the market.
This scenario is not an example of need. It is a choice we have to make. It is our ‘desire’ to buy something that was not a necessity in the first place.
Needs are mostly essential requirements in most cases. Desires are choices we make for a luxurious living. Needs are mostly required to manage our basic living. Desires outgrow needs and in most cases they would be necessary or unnecessary.
Need Vs Greed
When we buy a mobile phone in the market, probably a basic version, for the purpose of communication, it becomes a mere necessity or a need. These days mobile phones are very essential to stay in touch with our near and dear ones. So in this context, mobile phone becomes a ‘need’.
Our mind wanting to upgrade the mobile phone to a higher version can be treated as a ‘desire’. That is, even without upgrading the phone, it is going to work just fine. It is just that we desire for an improved version, so start exploring more. This exploration actually has no limits.
The more we seek for choices, the more we get in the market. The initial desire now gets flooded with options from all directions and the mind develops a ‘greed’ that becomes insatiable.
In short, our needs combined with endless desires result in the end product called ‘greed’. Suppose we plan to buy a dozen apples from the market, thinking that apples are good for health, we are purchasing them out of our ‘need’. Once in the market, we find out that if we buy two dozens of apples, we get another dozen for free.
Now, the need in our mind loses its place and gets carried away by the desire to buy that extra dozen which will ultimately provide another dozen for free. So the ‘need’ of the family was just 1 dozen. But a ‘desire’ in the mind told us to buy 2 dozens. This ultimately resulted in our greedy mind getting a whole basket of 3 dozens, which reflects not ‘good health’, but our ‘greed’ to get more out of less.
Man is always very determined to explore more in his surroundings. It’s actually good to be ambitious and determined to improve our standards of living. But there should be a conscious effort to monitor our limits, because when we outgrow our limits, which is when we start seeing problems for ourselves.
Owning a residential house is a dream for many youngsters and they strive hard to achieve their dream. Achieving the dream of one house can here be treated as a plain ‘need’ for the family. Suppose the family took up a loan to realise this dream of owning a house and started clearing the loan by paying periodical instalments.
A few years later, the same family may be tempted to buy another house, also through a loan system. Assuming that the previous loan was also pending by a few instalments, the family has now become more ambitious to own another property, so is aiming to buy a second loan.
We can clearly see how our desires slowly pressurise our minds out and force us to become greedy in the process. Out of a financial burden, if the family isn’t able to repay all their loans, there comes the price they pay and hence may lose ownership’s of both houses.
Being ambitious and determined to look out for more and possess more in our baskets leads us to becoming greedy. We often make such choices without realising what their effects could be. There is actually no end to man’s desires and these unending desires in his heart take the form of ‘greed’. Greed destroys the very essence of human living and makes him uncontrollably seeking more and more.
The more he gets, the more he seeks and the more he demands. The feeling so ‘satisfaction’ ends when there is a breeding ground for ‘greed’ in our minds.
Consequences of becoming ‘greedy’
A greedy man has no limits in his conquest. He knows no boundaries as he has simply not set one for himself. As his needs expand, he combines them with his desire to turn needs into ‘greedy choices’. This process of our ‘need’ transforming into‘greed’ leads us into a state where the mind simply does not know to put a full stop for the choices he makes.
By repeating this process often, the mind actually forgets what was his ‘need’ was and what is now his ‘greed’. The end result is, the mind starts thinking of every ‘need’ as‘greed’ and treats it without boundaries. In short, ‘need’ becomes ‘greed’ and that is when it plays its destructive role or spoils the breed in general.
Being ambitious in life shouldn’t be mistaken to be greedy in life, because ambition is a kind of motivation that helps the mind to achieve success in every endeavour of man. Ambition leads to success, success shouldn’t be treated as an excuse to become greedy in life.
We should always remember to be determined to achieve higher levels of control on our minds. We should clearly tell our minds, what our needs are and control our ‘desires’ to stop our needs from turning into ‘greed’. The zeal to achieve materialistic comforts and lead a luxurious life in every aspect has made ‘man’ a pawn of his own desires and he becomes a ‘greedy’ soul in the process.
When we meet our family’s needs, we achieve a sense of satisfaction. It gives us happiness and a good night’s sleep. On the other hand the desire to increase one’s needs leads man into a state of ‘greed’ and gives him sleepless nights and he loses his peace of mind.
He loses the satisfaction and happiness of having provided for his family as he will now keep thinking about his outgrown demands that will always keep rising and will have no full stop on them. There is no end to ‘greed’ in the world.
It’s more of an uncontrolled, untamed emotion that outgrows desires and trespasses every boundary on its way. It simply has no boundaries and stretches beyond limits and spoils the very holistic framework of a human mind.