Greed, The Double Edged Sword

Greed is a selfish desire for something that you yearn for. Greed takes place in almost every setting there is. One example is taking advantage of someone for your own personal gain. This could be deceiving them, cheating, lying, stealing, all for your own personal gain.

But is greed really all that wrong?

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, but is it really all that “deadly”? All of the seven sins, in my eyes, are a coping mechanism. All of the seven deadly sins are supposed to fill a hole in your personal interests. But for today, we’ll be using greed. Greed is a double edged sword, meaning that it has its positive and negative aspects of it.

Let’s start off with an example. Many Asian parents want their kids to go to a university, become a doctor, engineer, something of the sorts. And they threaten their kid with cutting them off if they even oppose or want to do something different. Majority of the time, this is for personal reputation and bragging rights. “Oh, your kid goes to OCC haha. My kid goes to UCI!” is what I’ve heard time, and time again from multiple relatives; of course, with different colleges. But back to the greed part – it’s a double edged sword. On one end, it’s selfish to threaten your kid to do what you want. But on the other end, you’re making sure that they are getting pushed to have a hopefully stable life and a good reputation.

Greed is also shown in the movie Spirited Away. Greed is shown by Yubaba, the bathhouse owner, and the bathhouse workers. The bathhouse reeks of hustling and bustling. People are constantly moving and working, and they make little to no money since they are under contract. Yubaba collects the majority of the money for her own personal gain. As shown in the movie, Yubaba’s room is filled with jewels and she pampers Boh. By this wealth inequality and contract, Yubaba is able to keep them in check, while she gains wealth. However, Yubaba also provides Chihiro with a chance to work and survive, along with some of the other bathhouse workers. The bathhouse workers are also greedy. When No Face asks for a bath, he produces tons of gold for them and they are ready to pamper and do anything for the gold. They’ll fight over it and die over it. While this does show that the bathhouse workers would kill over gold, they are also poor and under slavery. By being greedy, they fill the hole of financial instability and have a chance to escape the bathhouse.

Furthermore, another example of greed being a double edged sword is The Mojave Phone Booth. The Mojave Phone Booth was taken down partly due to Doc’s fault, since he popularized it and brought visitors to the area. His greed to know more about the phone booth ultimately led to it getting removed; though it did make a cool addition to history. The film “Scavengers” is also an example, the scientists rip open the animals in hopes of finding a way back to their old life. Hurt one for the good of your own.

Scavengers” on Vimeo

Greed is an emotion that is driven by selfish goals. Though being selfish isn’t always a bad thing. It can act as a way to protect yourself and your beliefs. Greed gives the person a purpose to keep going in life. Yubaba wouldn’t be the manager of the bathhouse if she didn’t make money. The bathhouse workers need money to leave. The scavengers rip and tear through animals in hopes of finding a way back home. To continue on in life, it takes sacrifice, and a little bit of stepping over people to get your way.

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