Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sharing v. Greed

This morning I awakened to view this film on Facebook:

I love the work of Shel Silverstein. I dore this little film and the book from which it was made, The Giving Tree.

I have thought about the message of this book (altruistic giving) for many years. I think I have tried to live an altruistic life. Sharing what I have has always been important to me. At risk of making an unfair judgment, I believe that those who do not share are the greatest danger we face today.

The opposite of giving/sharing is greed.

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. ~  Erich Fromm 
In our daily life, we encounter people who are angry, deceitful, intent only on satisfying their own needs. There is so much anger, distrust, greed, and pettiness that we are losing our capacity to work well together.Margaret J. Wheatley 

It is so simple and so obvious to me that the major quandary—the driving problem—facing our world today is greed. The problem is not new: greed has been with us ever since humans came together to form cities. And it has been a major force, not in building societies, but in destroying them. It was a primary cause of the fall of the Roman Republic and, then, just less than a thousand years afterward, the fall of the Roman Empire.

As I comprehend it, greed and the unwillingness to share can—and are—destroying us. Plato, in The Republic, recognized this:

"Do we then still doubt," I said, "that the stingy, money-making man, in virtue of his likeness, corresponds to the oligarchic city?"

"Not at all," he said.

"Then, democracy, must, as it seems, be considered next—in what way it comes into being and, once come into being, what it is like— so that when we know the character of such a man in his turn, we can bring him forward for judgment." ~ Plato, The Republic
The salvation of our nation—democracy and our way of life—is dependent upon our willingness to share our resources with one another. That this sharing is exactly what the contemporary Republican Party opposes is what is destroying our nation and the world. But that’s another story.
In my next related post, I shall reference the Hebrew Scriptures and  the Year of Jubilee.   

We look to the day when sharing by all will mean scarcity for none.

For further reading, I recommend:


  1. I really like this post! Thank you Reverend Saintly Nick.

  2. Thank you, SSN! This is like the posts you used to make before the jokes seemed to take over your blog. I love this. It makes me think.

  3. Well said, Nick. Greed will be our downfall just as it was for Rome. Loved The Giving Tree film.

  4. Well said, Sir. I appreciate the listing of books and plan to read a couple of them.

  5. Excellent, Nick. Really good.

  6. I loved the film, I used to hang out in trees acting like a bird, my mom and dad could never find me, I climbed to the top of it and just sat and took in the beauty of the land..Trees to me are wonderful, sharing is even more important..Money and greed yep that is the ticket to Hell as far as I am concerned, I am taking nothing with me but my soul when I depart his terrestrial at all..I have seen other run for money constantly and it made them die young and live a miserly life!!!!!!!!!! Now for fresh air, land and sea, I see you love kitteh cats a lot, I am crazy for them, lost two one week apart this past july, it nearly drove me crazy, my hubbs a non loving cat person who turned into a loving cat person felt so badly, it was hard, we still have two who think they rule the roost, but we just let them think that..they have to stay inside and keep safe now, one got beaten up on christmas, he has a new condo and lots of places to hang out and play, but he still thinks he is an outdoor tiger....I think it is better to give than to receive, most people live lives of quiet unhapiness why not spoil them, they have had bad things happen to them, why not be the person to reach out and love is too damn short not to consider other human and feline life to spoil..cioa & peace & love!X()

  7. I am reading your post again, with a kitteh on my lap, we were gone for 2 hours today and she got mighty lonely, upon arriving home, she jumped on my lap and would not leave me, purred like no tomorrow, almost could not get some supper on the table..Hubbs held her and she adores him, he can't get over he used to be kinda scared of cats, they adore him, cause he is a kind, loving and gentle soul, they know it and fight over who can sit on him and love on him..I watched some of the inaugural, oh, can our President Obama speak, he is eleoquent and hits it on all the important things in life, I especially love he thinks women should get a fair break in life and he thinks minorities have never gotten a break. The republicans hate him and some of the congress on both sides, too damn bad for him, he will make a big difference in the next 4 years and his lovely wife is just fabulous, I truly believe he would not make the things he wants to happen without being married to such a lovely, powerful woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy week, we get freezing rain tonight and snow coming soon, we got all our food and gas because we don't go anywhere when it starts to do that..Got to the place that needs food just in time with meat marked down and chicken pieces too..they so needed them and bread..Got ourselves the fixins for soup and meals..The kitteh cats did not get any treats as they were exorbitant but I found a pkg I hid away and they are happy as can be..Peace and love to you and your kitteh cats too!XXX()()()()

  8. I meant to say too damn bad for those who hate President Obama, he will be in office for 4 more years and make lots of important decisions and laws to come true..He is refreshing, honest and wonderful, I pray for him daily..He is just wonderful..take care!