Avarice: Greed Unchecked

Avarice: extreme greed or need for material gain. They never have enough of anything. Their default is to compare their possessions or learning or “fill in the blank” with that of others. Their true desire is contentment and they are seeking it in all the wrong places.

My Last Post

In my last post I discussed how we might deal with pride. Pride is one of those things that takes a critical analysis of self and a willingness to confess because pride is sometimes only seen by self. In other words, this imperfection isn’t always obvious to others.


On the other hand, avarice can be quite obvious. In today’s world this is called by many names; materialism, consumerism, greed, etc. First described by St. John of the Cross some 500 years ago, this imperfection was described as a relentless pursuit of learning for learning’s sake while abandoning the pursuit of a strong interior life. To be clear learning and becoming proficient is not what is being addressed here. The imperfection occurs when we avoid spiritual growth for the pursuit of knowledge or material gain. This interior pursuit would cause us to look at others’ needs over our own. We need clothes to wear but do we really need the numbers we see in most closets? We need cars to get from point A to point B but do we really need what many Americans find as necessary?

Age Matters

Most interesting for me is a quick study of people who are in their 50s and 60s. These people generally pursue simplicity. They downsize, they see the beauty of their garden or their books or the simple sunrise and sunset. Wouldn’t it be great to discover this important lesson before spending thousands of dollars on material that is going to rust and decay?

So the battle here is to pursue contentment or what we commonly call happiness. After all isn’t this what America is all about; “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This pursuit gets to the nature of spirituality. How about you? What are you chasing? Chances are if you are under the age of 35 your pursuit is to find your place in the world. If you are

  1. Mid-life you are either taking a journey inward to discover the true nature of being or have discovered it and are attempting to have an impact greater than self.
  2. Over 35 and haven’t experienced this yet, you will.
  3. In the twilight of your years it is the simple things that bring you joy.

1. Is rest an easy task for you? There is a difference between rest and sloth, which I will address in a later post
2. Where do you find true joy?
3. What hinders you from joy?
4. When you look back on life, what do you want to be known for?
5. How focused are you on your own needs?
6. Do you ignore the needs of others because of your desires?
7. Do you have sufficient self-awareness to make accurate assessments of these questions?

How would you improve your relationships with others? Are you able to truly answer this question? Do you have enough self awareness? These are but a few questions you may want to ask yourself. Do you want to look back on your life in 5, 10 or 20 years and wish you had better relationships with the people closest to you? Do you have a project or idea that could help other people? Why not start this process today?

About the author: Creed is an accomplished leader and Professional Certified Coach motivated by a passionate drive to help individuals and organizations reclaim their clarity for personal achievement and organizational effectiveness.

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