The Seven Sins - Greed

He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have

- Socrates -

The medieval Christian thought viewed the sin of avarice or greed as most offensive to the spirit of love. This rapacious desire to possess wealth or any kinds of object in a way that goes far beyond the necessary level for survival and comfort is believed to be one of the seven paths that lead one into eternal damnation. As one of the seven deadly sins, avarice (Latin, avaritia) is a sin of excess. However, unlike lust and gluttony, the sin of avarice is not about consumption, but about gain. Sinners of avarice are often excessively obsessed with the pursuit of wealth, power and status to the point of resorting to all means and ignoring all realms of the spirituals.

Human greed falls in at least three forms: desire for power, fear of losing and greed of acquisition for more earthly goods. In the first form, earthly goods such as money, houses or cars are simply means to wield and display one’s power. This desire for power is actually fear of helplessness and the sin of pride in disguise. The second form of avarice, fear of losing, is a fearful need to collect and keep a tight grip on surplus goods so one can be safe from want. This greed simply stems from a fear of insecurity as well as an illusion that excess can save us from poverty. Lastly, the thirst for accumulating more and more is perhaps the most certain way to enslave ourselves to our own material wealth.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed

- Mahatma Gandhi -

In his epic poem named "Divine Comedy" written in the 14th century, the Italian poet Dante condemned avarice as the cause for numerous kinds of ethical and political corruption in the society. The second part of his poem depicted the scene of avaricious penitents being bound and lying face down on the ground to repent their earthly thoughts and cravings. In today’s society, many crimes such as theft, robbery, trickery or manipulation of power are all believed to result from human greed.

Avarice is always poor

– Samuel Johnson -

So as to avoid falling into the sin of avarice, one must learn to suppress and eliminate all forms of greed. To erase the desire for power, one must cease trying to stay in control of everything and everyone. Share the credit for successes; claim one’s share of responsibility for failures and do not keep all the power to one self. Cure one’s fear of poverty by embracing poverty itself. Live simply, use less worldly goods and grant ourselves some freedom by realizing that we don’t even need that much. It is more or less useless to accumulate a fortune larger than our needs for when we leave this world, we cannot take anything with us.

The sin of avarice is commonly associated with the image of a frog and the color yellow. The color yellow is the color of gold, representing wealth and superiority; and one explanation for the frog’s link to greed is its greedy desire to live both on the land and in the water.

@Kevin La