Greed — not a sin, and the driving force of progress

02.10.2012

Strange and shameful feeling: very sorry to give something of themselves to the alien, and sometimes even a loved one for free. Zhadnichaya, we experience a sense of ambivalence: the first impulse — to give, but suddenly stops inner voice: "We'll get!"


In Russia, according to opinion polls Foundation "Public Opinion" (FOM), a parsimony recognized every five people. This is much lower than in other countries. For example, in the United States meanie — one in four, and in Sweden — one in three.

Most Russians often save on purchases, trying to make them either in cheaper places and using discounts or completely refusing to purchase is not "essential" things. About two percent of the people out of greed refused to lend money to. A one percentage spared no money "on the flowers to his wife," and even "on a crossword puzzle for the grandmother."

But interestingly, many of the respondents admitted that they had not burdened by his skuperdyaystvom. It does not prevent them from living. In fact, some even believe that greed is "something good." And one in ten does not condemn the greed and even zheleet those "toad strangling". And there are even those who are greedy person envies and admires their ability to refuse.

Almost all believe that men and women are equally stingy. But that's what a mercenary — rich or poor, opinions are divergent. 15 percent believe that zhlobstve those and others, and 74 percent believe that meanie — rich. And as an example of leading Hollywood stars — most niggardly on the tip. Thus, in the ranking compiled by U.S. journalists, leading Madonna, who tend to "forget" to thank the waiters. For her — Britney Spears, who just pours all the detail that is there in your pockets. And closes the top three niggardly — the rock star and the main "rolling" Mick Jagger, who, instead of tip leaves his autograph on a napkin.

Good and the oligarchs! The richest man in the world — 83-year-old Swede, founder of the retail chain IKEA Ingvar Kamprad — if your status to almost $ 30 billion flies only economy class, stays in three-star hotels, often use public transport and even makes a pensioner's license, which gives the right to a discount.

But what the "stars" screen and businessmen! Geniuses of all time was inherent in the sin. The great Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo, being the richest artist of the era, all the while complaining to friends on his eternal lack of money. And the cost of living almost in poverty. And the apotheosis of William Shakespeare's stinginess became famous will in which he painted and has given each a spoon and a bowl all his descendants in the seventh lap. Cheapskate reputed Athanasius Fet, Vasily Zhukovsky, Ivan Turgenev, Graham Greene, Arkady Averchenko, Valentine rolls around.

So, maybe, greed — and not a sin at all?

EXPERT COMMENTARY


Professor of psychology at the Moscow Humanitarian-Economic Institute, Sc.D., author of the book "The Seven Deadly Sins for believers and non-believers" Yuri Scherbatykh:

— Greed — in our genes, passed on from our ancestors. Two million years ago, in resource-poor people to survive, sought at the earliest opportunity to grab more food, raw materials, tools and hunting. And it is very reluctant to share production and conquered lands with neighbors. When the money came, it changed the nature of feelings of self-serving: the man became a "fight for the metal." After all, for lucre can buy almost anything in the world. And the level of man's greed was determined more by education and the influence of society. That is, many of greed has become not only innate, but acquired.

It is not always a negative feeling. For example, many confuse the concepts of "greed", "thrift", "avarice", "prudence." And between these terms is a fundamental difference. For example, the term "greed" combines two concepts: "greed" when covering the desire to get as much as possible, and "avarice", when I want to spend as little as possible. And such a seemingly laudable character traits as thrift, frugality and thrift, too, can join the ranks of avarice, if stepped over the line and become a reasonable obsession.

And I understand those people who does not condemn the hoarders. In a sense, greed, and envy as the driving force of progress. They both fueled ambitions contribute to the development of business, industry and commerce, forcing people to move, to catch up and overtake "his neighbor." Incidentally, the famous Edison most of his inventions made in order to get rich.

It is dangerous to one thing: to go against conscience for the sake of profit. After submitting greedy passion, people make marriages of convenience, abandon their children and parents spoil with the best friends. To make sense of greed does not capture you entirely, I advise you to remember the wise words of Solomon, that happiness — a state of mind. And the soul of the poor can happily sing, while the rich man's soul can be covered with a black veil of jealousy and anger.

BTW


At the level of the instincts we are generous

Scientists say if people do not give time for reflection on the issue of "gift — no gift", they perform miracles nobility.

— Our instinct makes us immediately reach out and give everyone who asks that he may have asked — explains the Nobel Prize in Economics, the author of the book "Thinking fast and slow" by Daniel Kahneman. — But if we give even a moment to analyze the situation, we will shrink our hand into a fist.

According to Kahneman, most of the decisions we make as a result of the struggle between two brain processes. On the one hand, we have a fast, intuitive thinking, which often generated emotions. They are opposed by a controlled meditation.

Perhaps that is why more beggars alms given to those who ask, so to speak, eye to eye. And e-mail from a charitable organization often leaves us indifferent.

Svetlana COUSIN

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