Thursday, November 18, 2010

The many forms of Greed

Greed takes many forms.

According to government standards we are officially poor.
Except when I have to visit a dentist or need new glasses I do not feel poor. We have never lacked food, clothing, shelter or transportation and live in a decent society surrounded by natural beauty. Who needs more? The words I wrote about my friend Beth apply to myself as well.

"According to Western standards Beth may have been poor, but those were not the standards she set for herself. She did not compare herself to people with big houses and shiny cars, but to the wretched of the earth. So she lived mainly in gratitude, knowing that anyone living in Southern B.C. on her own piece of land is fortunate indeed."

Amen. Me too.

But I am greedy in other ways.

I am greedy for PHYSICAL COMFORT.
I hate being cold, hungry, tired or in pain. People who live in pain and keep going with a smile on their face deserve much admiration. When I feel miserable I am not a nice person. Just let me crawl into a corner like an animal and leave me alone so I can lick myself better. I feel just fine 90% of the time, for which I give thanks frequently and fervently.

I am greedy for SPACE.
We have 2 five acre lots and a privacy barrier of trees all around the 10 acres. If circumstances ever forced us to sell the half we don't live on we'd actually see neighbors. The thought creeps me out! We are spoiled rotten in that respect and know it.

I am greedy for TIME.
I have always needed lots of unstructured time. How people do 9-5 for years on end is beyond me. I can do it in spurts, but not for long. I am not lazy but prefer to do more in what Ivan Illich calls "the direct use economy". I have the temperament of an artist without the creative urge to go with it.

I am greedy for STUFF to READ.
Call me Queen of the Over-dues. You should see the piles I drag home from the blessed Nakusp Public Library. It is always more than I can actually read. The explanation: Reading Hunger as a child. Our small public library only allowed us to check out one book of fiction and one of non-fiction a week, on Saturday morning. I don't remember an opportunity to come back for seconds. The shelves were divided into age groups. 6-8, 8-10, 10-12. I was often book-less by Thursday and had always worked my way through the section a good year before it was time to move to the next one. The thought of being out of reading material is utterly abhorrent.

Apart from books there are magazines, newspapers and online newsletters. I have learned lots from the excellent newsletters published by doctors in the Natural Health movement. Last but not least: Other people's blogs.

And now there is YouTube......Where do I stop? I want to read it ALL!

See, greed takes many forms.

1 comment:

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

I seem to share all your forms of greed. I could also add knowledge. I used to skim through the encyclopedia and dictionary as a child. My goal was to go all the way through the alphabet in both. Since college I have been a glutton for knowledge. And the internet with Wiki and search engines and other bloggers just makes me want more.

This is probably why I cannot get off the internet. Our library in town just does not fill my needs.