SSH | Rule 5: Despise Greed
There is no trait worse in mankind than that of greed. Greed has corrupted men, tarnished reputations, and collapsed entire empires. Greed is the catalyst that leads to narcissism, ruthless exploitation, and jealousy. Nothing acceptable in the eyes of the lord comes from greed, thus it is a trait that should be despised and deemed despicable in the eyes of a gentleman.
There are many examples throughout history and in biblical text that show the ramifications of greed. I mainly want to focus on the text written in 1 Timothy 6:10:
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Notice it did not say of some evil, it says ALL evil. Evil is the byproduct of wanting more. More wealth, more power, more land. In the pursuit of more it is easy to fall into the trap of turning money and our possessions into a false god. The 6th Century Pope Gregory I lists greed as one of the 7 deadly sins that leads people away from God. Understand, money is printed everyday, and at some point when you die everything you acquired will stay on earth as you go forward into the afterlife. The bible validates this in Matthew 16:26 where it states; “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?...” Amassing many riches means nothing with an impure heart.
A SilverSpoon gentleman turns away from these temptations. A gentleman uses wealth and riches as a tool for the advancement of mankind not as an object to be praised and worshiped. A gentleman despises greed and instead lives a life dedicated to giving; or “being generous with generosity”.
Ambition vs Greed
Now make no mistake, I do aspire to make a lot of money and be prosperous in all my endeavors but let my ambition not be mistaken for greed.
Ambition is “a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.”
greed on the other hand is “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed” A person can have limitless ambition so long that it doesn’t stem from a place of selfishness. An ambitious person is obsessed with an outcome, the greedy person is the person who is obsessed with capitalizing on the spoils . In other words greed is taking more than what is necessary where ambition is the desire to achieve a goal. Striving for greatness should never come at the expense of those around you nor should it take more than deserved; this is not the actions of a gentleman. Instead a gentleman carries an obligation to society to assure mutual success for all; which can not be achieved by the taking of more than a fair share. A SilverSpoon makes sure that EVERYONE eats just as much as they are and as we've all been taught from a young age, share.
"I think one of the most pervasive evils in this world is greed and acquiring money for money's sake. Once you have six houses and a plane, it's just about a number. It's never been anything I understood." ~ Kevin Bacon