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Human Nature

Essay by   •  March 23, 2011  •  Essay  •  504 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,049 Views

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It ruins lives. It tears families apart. It is even called one of the seven deadly sins. Greed is defined as a selfish desire to obtain money, wealth, food, material possessions or any other entity more than one legitimately needs. A basic desire to increase wealth is generally considered acceptable in Western culture. When do we cross the line into greed? Is greed human nature? Are we nurturing a society to be greedy?

Need is a natural thing to us, a survival instinct. Human nature provides a desire, a want, to do better. Our parents wanted a better life for us. We in turn want a better life for our children. We need to get a good job because we want to buy a nice house for our family. After needs are satisfied and a burning desire for more remains, that is when want becomes greed.

A relative once said, "I don't want all the land in Laurel County, I just want everything that adjoins my property." Acquisition of land was a burning desire for that man. When a neighbor refused to sell to him stating, "I'm seventy-nine years olds and I've lived here all of my life. I'm going to die here," he was livid. He badgered that old man for years. Even though he owned thousands of acres, he wanted that man's land. He died wanting that man's land. Greed told him there was never enough.

The devastation of Katrina brought out the best and worst of society. There were people that collected and gave of their time and money to help the victims of the destructive hurricane. Then there were those disguised as refugees taking advantage of the disaster. Pretending to be a victim to receive government aid; literally robbing from those in need. Looters stealing what little was left, taking more than what was needed for themselves and their families.

Our society instills wants in us every day, from clothes, to food, to the latest electronics. Needs are the bare minimum and bare minimum is cheap. In order to make profits, society disguises wants as needs. We need tennis shoes. A twenty dollar pair will satisfy that need but we are bombarded with advertisements in newspapers and on television that say we need this pair of athlete endorsed shoes that cost one hundred fifty dollars. They tell us we will be stronger and faster, we will be better. We need to be better, so we need those shoes.

Whether its land, money, or something else, the constant drive to accumulate more and more lies



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