2009 – 8th Grade 5th Place Winner.

Emily Stock , Minnesota.

Greed: The Instrument of the World’s Ruin

Giving for some people is second-nature, while being greed is for others, but overall, greed has a greater impact on society. The act of greed comes naturally, it surrounds us, and all are affected by it.
Being greedy comes naturally to us because of our instinct to survive. We do what it takes to get by, but the attitude of more is better has evolved beyond the basic survival needs. The greed of many corporations has lead them to do most anything to keep profits up with little regard for effects it has on society. An example of this is the oil companies’ whose profits are way up. This huge rise in oil price is causing chaos in the U.S. economy and the world. Fuel is used to transport all goods and many services, so the ripple effect is massive. As the fuel costs rise, so do the costs of such things as groceries, which affects everyone in all economic classes. Even as the gas prices fluctuate, the prices of goods and services seldom fall.
Escaping from greed can be almost impossible; it surrounds us where ever we go. You hear people talking about it; comparing what they have to others and always wanting more. Greed is encouraged through advertising, and society’s greed makes the news more frequently than the good people do. Our poor economy was partially caused by the mortgage crisis, and the hole continues to deepen. No matter what some try to do to fix the problem of greed, people have not yet been able to completely put others needs before their own. Today, some businesses are lowering costs to help their customers out, but with the poor economy, they can hardly afford to do that. Companies are giving you deals to keep your loyalty, thus keeping their jobs and businesses afloat.
Every person is affected by greed in some form or another. We are all victims of it, and we are all also greedy to a certain extent. There are those who try hard to help others out, “looking toward the brighter side of things,” but their efforts amount to little in the long run since those in power are often the most self serving. Once individuals, like the main players in the mortgage crisis, succumb to greed they just want more and more. In our society, greed begets greed, and it’s quoted in the bible as, “Greed is evil and makes one unclean (Mark 7:22), brings trouble to one’s family (Proverbs 15:27), and tears down a country (Proverbs 29:4).”
“Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.” – Arthur Schopenhauer. I believe the same idea applies to greed in our society. The more we get, the more we want. Overall, greed has a greater impact on society because it comes naturally, it surrounds us, and all are affected by it.

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