Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and it seems to be an integral component of human nature. It could also serve as the gateway to moral bankruptcy and the trigger for global devastation. The documentary, Greed: A Fatal Desire, addresses all of these key concerns with probing insight.
There are several theories as to why the human species might harbor greedy tendencies. Most of the film’s narrative is driven by the teachings of Sheldon Solomon, a social psychologist who believes that greed is a reaction to our inherent fear of death, and that each new material possession represents a means of stalling this inevitability. As long as we need, we live. In this age of ego – where the needs of the individual trump all else – our self-esteem is often defined by the things we own.
In part, this instinct can ensure survival and achievement. But when our quest for more power, possessions, and attention comes at the cost of others, this behavior can cripple individual, communal and cultural relationships. The class divide widens, and an acceptable quality of life becomes unattainable for far too many citizens of the world.
In reality, of course, money and possessions do not result in immortality; they’re temporary rewards that can easily enslave us. The things that really matter – family, love, compassion, and harmony with our natural environment – transcend the notion of power and status. It is through them that we can achieve true peace and contentment. We must raise our level of self-awareness and recalibrate our priorities for the benefit of all.
WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED?
According to the United Nations Development Program, the 20 percent of the world’s people who lived in the wealthiest nations had 30 times the per capita income of the 20 percent who lived in the poorest nations. By 1995 the average income ratio between the richest and poorest 20 percent had increased from 30:1 to 82:1.
TO CHANGE THE WORLD, WE MUST BE GOOD TO THOSE WHO CANNOT REPAY US!