Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Greed and Its Disastrous Effects

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins. It is a sin of excess, like lust and gluttony. It is also known as avarice or covetousness. It is an excessive desire for wealth or power. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed was "a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." (Wikipedia)
Greed has played havoc with humankind. In news story after story the ill effects of greed can be seen. Throughout history, greed has been a destructive force.  And aren't we all guility of it to some degree. I try to be a charitable person and yet I have so much more than I need. Many of us in America as well as other rich countries have much.  And that's fine, people work hard and they should receive rewards for that....but there is so much excess. Unfortunately,  there are so many people who never get a chance for a better life. 
I read with interest a New York Times article titled, "Parasites in Paradise," by Peter Hotez. It begins, "President Obama has started an ambitious global health initiative that will deliver urgenty needed medicine and preventative care to hundreds of millions of people in poor countries. Included in the plan are efforts to devote resouces to 'neglected tropical diseases' .....that many think have gone the way of smallpox, but which still make up the most common ailments among the world's bottom billion." One thing I found interesting in the article was a statement that diseases in the Caribbean could be easily eliminated if every tourist who visited the Caribbean on vacation,  just gave one dollar (it would cost $20 million per year for five years) to this cause. One dollar, that's it. I'm sure people would be willing to donate one dollar, if asked, to support this endeavor.  
I'm always inspired by famous people as well as everyone else who give of themselves to great causes. There are many inspirational entertainers and leaders out there. There is so much good in the world, but there is also greed, which continues to be a problem for humankind into the 21st century.