Why greed is actually a desire for tranquility

    Contributor: Francis van Schaik

    Greed. A quality that we do not like to attribute to ourselves, but which is nevertheless quite commonplace. Because really greed is nothing but a desire for peace. And isn’t that what we all long for these days?

    The latest iPhone, a brand new wardrobe or the umpteenth meditation cushion. At the time of buying you think it will make you happy, but the feeling of happiness is often short-lived. If that iPhone is in your jacket pocket for a week, it feels no different from your old phone and you are secretly looking forward to the next model.

    Where does this endless greed for more come from?

    We seek happiness outside of ourselves

    In his book On Greed and Desire, the German monk Anselm Grün writes: “The desire for possessions is actually a desire for tranquility. But the paradox is that we do not find peace precisely because we are possessed by the desire for more.”

    According to Grün, our greed stems from the fact that we forget to live in the now. We forget to enjoy everything we already have and get satisfaction from it, instead of always looking for our satisfaction in the future. Our thoughts constantly turn to the next event in the hope that it will make us happy, just as we look forward to dessert during the main course, without really tasting it.

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    We seek happiness outside ourselves, outside the moment, in the future. We expect the new iPhone to bring us luck, or the new meditation cushion, or the weekend. But happiness is already within us, right now. If we don’t realize that, we only experience dissatisfaction, because the moment never gives the satisfaction we seek.

    Addiction to self-confidence

    Research shows that greed also stems from low self-esteem. People try to gain more self-confidence by means of an expensive car or a new dress. An illusion, according to Grün, because we only achieve a better self-image if we give ourselves love and value.

    Psychologist Seltzer also writes on Psychology Today. According to him, greed is an addiction to what we don’t give ourselves: appreciation, a sense of success, love. It is only when we realize that the appreciation and the love are already within us and we give it to ourselves that the greed ebbs away.

    What void are you trying to fill?

    Are you an impulsive buyer or do you have an overflowing wardrobe? Ask yourself where your greed comes from. What void are you trying to fill? A security you didn’t receive as a child? A love that was not reciprocated? An appreciation for what you have already achieved? How can you give yourself this, now?

    Website: www.kindercoaching-ikben.nl

    Francis van Schaik

    Mrs Francis van Schaik is a coach of children and also a student of human relationships with nature, the world and Reality. She is a regular contributor to our online magazine. Francis is the contributing editor of this page.

    Francis van Schaik is een coach van jongeren en ook een student van menselijke relaties met de natuur, de wereld en de Waarheid. Ze levert regelmatig bijdragen aan ons online magazine. Francis is de bijdragende redacteur van deze pagina.