2009 – National 4th Place Award Winner:
Nikki Johnson, Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Greed or Giving: Which has a Greater Impact on Society ?
The Greater Impact of Greed
Throughout history, greed has proven to be a formidable force. Greed incites the individual to covet superfluous possessions. This unreasonable intake creates a gap between the princes and the paupers. This pattern starts on a small scale that escalates and brings societies and the entire world to disaster. The Great American Depression is a prime example of the devastating effects of greed. Greed has the greatest impact because of its aspects evolve into uncontrollable forces that can overwhelm the world. When true generosity – such as in a utopia – is applied to a society, a world of conformity and negation of change is created that has a scarcity of impact.
The Great Depression has been known as the “great glut”. The greedy bosses of factories kept the majority of their laborers’ profit. The bosses became rich while the workers became poor. The common people did not have enough money to buy the bosses’ expensive products. The economic collapse that resulted is carved into history.
The avarice of the proprietors caused a gap that destroyed the temper of America. No other incident has had such an incapacitating effect to the American people.
Theories about societies of generosity exist. The prime example of this ideal is the book Utopia by Sir Thomas More. People that give freely to the “commonwealth” live a dreamlike life. Every person in the society is given equal opportunities and allotments of work, sleep, and amusement. The world that is portrayed in Utopia is one of stability and conformity. Favoritism and discrimination are nonexistent. Each individual has no impact on any other person, except in the contribution to the commonwealth. Likewise, the commonwealth has no impact on the people, other than to sustain the people’s predictable lives.
The lives of people who give freely have little impact on the world. No advancement is made because there is never an opportunity to surpass the current condition. The world settles into a deathlike trance: all cease to live but function like machines. They complete their assigned task and have no more effect on the world than does a conveyer belt. In opposition, greed is an innate force that drives human beings to surpass their current situation. The chaos created in this struggle can create limitless reactions. When driven by greed, the world burns with passion. Like fire, greed leaves a trail of destruction and havoc, thus having the greatest impact. Nevertheless, one should not take this as a malediction. Like from ashes, opportunities rise from the ground like sprouts.
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