The root of all evil: Greed

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The often misquoted phrase ‘money is the root of all evil’ is derived from 1 Timothy 6:10, which actually says ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.’  In the original context, it is the greed for money that is the root of some evil.  For me, I believe greed in general is the root of the worst evils.  There are some evils that occur out of pure ignorance, blind allegiance, or even in the name of the best of intentions, but this is another category altogether.   Then there is another evil that is manufactured by mere mortals that keeps their neighbors in misery.  This evil has many faces and many names, but it allows for the destruction of those around them simply for a few to live in excess.  This evil is pure greed.

For me, the twin pursuits of money and power cause the most damage, for people will subvert themselves just to attain that status.  I watched a documentary where a young girl escaped from a Mormon cult and said that her father was one of the senior members, but when they were younger, he was just a normal guy who never believed in polygamy or religion that much, but when he was given power, he abandoned his family for it.  However, the pursuit of money and power is not evil in of itself.  It is greed for these things that propels these people to accept evil.  Greed allows us to bend the rules for ourselves and those around us.  We can accept the horrible treatment of our neighbors when we are given access to money and power, and to keep it, we allow greed to take over all aspects of our lives.

The thing about greed is that we all harbor its sentiments deep in our hearts.  They lie dormant when we are but peasants who revolt against the bourgeoisie, but when we are the bourgeoisie, we adapt their rules because we are no longer peasants.  This is how the caste system has always worked and will always work.  Greed may be the root of all evil, but evil is what we all are if we were ever presented the opportunity.  We want to believe we are good people and will always do the right thing, but centuries of history will prove you wrong.  The only way we can achieve more is to accept that we are indeed evil and build measures against it.  When the founding fathers crafted the constitution and government, they relied on the fact that they were all equal men fighting for their country, which they were, and as such, made laws and rules that did not guard against those who would use the system for their own gain, but now, that is where we are.

If you craft anything, craft it with the belief of evil and you will safeguard the future, but craft it with the belief that we are all good, you will find more evil.

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