In the first of a seven-part series, the normally acerbic Minoo Shah gets talking about the seven Biblical sins – pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, sloth and wrath, and the seven virtues of chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility
How often has the adjective ‘greed’ been applicable to those around you in your daily life? I would say more often than not. The degree might vary but the contempt you are apt to feel is anything but charitable. It is possible then that in denouncing a sin you might forsake a virtue.
Did that sound sanctimonious? Are you wondering – who is this person and what have you done to the acerbic Minoo whom the most vicious of cats tend to avoid, electing instead to slink into alleyways populated by rabid dogs.
Well, then shall we? walk thru the next seven weeks on a biblical path. What if we were to stray into Vatican City on a sunshiny day disrupting the holy man’s counsel with the birds and subsequently his reaction? Would he admonish the birds to quickly gather up their breakfast lest you pounce upon it? Or, would he smile and pat you on the back and invite you to partake. And in the event of the latter, would you then consider getting down on your knees and squawking so that you could have some freebies too? In which case, you would be a part of the majority who see, want and acquire.
But does this call for condemnation? Let he who hath never coveted cast the first stone. And the answer is written on the wall which stands aplomb because not a stone has been yanked from it’s solemn state.
Now let us talk about Miss Charity. Aha! Not such a Miss Goody-two-shoes – are we? How so, you exclaim? Just look around you and fathom the tax shelters, Offshore Sweep accounts, CEO salaries for non-profits, the list goes on. What do you see? A sophisticated version of havalas under the guise of legitimate laundromats.
Completely confused, because suddenly everything that was just and fair has switched roles with abhorrent? Before you run to hide those books of religious teachings from your grandkids, ask yourselves how your perspective helped shape your life.
While you are flailing in the land of the obtuse, wondering how you could have been blindsided into prejudicial beliefs, here’s something to chew on – Greed, no matter what the outlook is avariciousness borne of the need to have your share and more. Charity, regardless of the selfish motivation is a form of material and emotional giving that is beneficial.