Greed

One of the seven deadly sins, Greed is a symbol of the American Dream.  We uphold Greed like it is the currency on which our future is written- without it, or it’s brother Ambition, you will never achieve Greatness, at least in the material sense.

Everyone wants more money, believing that if they pay their bills, can buy the right things, provide for the right people, all their problems are solved.  I’m sure any lottery winner will tell you that is not the case.  Money may make the trip a lot nicer- I just love First Class- it won’t buy love, happiness or quiet those voices of self-doubt and cruel comments in our own heads.

I know money isn’t the answer to everything, yet I continue to pursue it.  I have completed a graduate degree with hopes of getting better jobs doing work I felt good about.  The better jobs came, and put me in a position to go independent.   I’m loving the work 90% of the time.  The other 10% I’m just glad I’m paid well enough with freedoms that would not encourage me to seek out a regular 9-5 job again, if I can help it.

I guess part of the problem is people who work in non-profit or in fields of social justice tend to feel guilty for making a decent (or more than decent) living.  I certainly do, from time to time.  I also know I worked hard to get where I am, and I’ve got the student loan bills and therapy visits to prove it.  Should I feel guilty about making decent money?  If I don’t, does that make me greedy?  Is greed always bad?

Making more money has never been my #1 goal when changing jobs or looking at opportunities.  I must be doing work that I find meaningful & interesting, I must work in an ethical organization, and I must be able to make an impact that is relevant.   Money is definitely a factor for me, but as long as I can make a certain amount at which I can comfortably live, I’m happy with that when all the other ducks are in the row.

I guess sometimes greed isn’t always about money.  Sometimes it’s about time, people or resources.  That’s when having the ability to set limits is valuable.  If someone else is greedy with your time or resources, you should take control of that situation.  Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

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