Sunday Sayings – Greed and Risk

When I had money everyone called me brother ~ Polish Proverb

“If you risk something that is important to you for something that is unimportant to you, it just does not make any sense.”

Warren Buffet

“Greed culminates in a selfish desire for something.” [The philosophy Forum]

Swiss Sweets,

He who knows he has enough is rich

Tao Te Ching

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s richest men noted that, despite his commitment to ethics, he wouldn’t rule out holding up a store if he were broke, had two sick kids at home, and an empty fridge.

But Buffett also ridiculed a suite of millionaire bankers who decided they wanted to try and get more millions. It’s foolish, to risk what you do have and don’t need.. it doesn’t matter what your IQ is, Buffett pointed out.

At what point does necessity or desire push a person over the line to behaviour motivated by greed?

What would it take for you to risk your income, house, and wealth?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment.

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned. Quotes, like proverbs, make us think more deeply about something.

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30 thoughts on “Sunday Sayings – Greed and Risk

  1. Such a great topic, Amanda! I am in seven minds about what to write, for there is such an abundance to choose between! 😉

    So maybe, indeed, I should be taking Lucretius’ sage advise to heart here: “The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied.”

    And just be content with what I have, for as Socrates puts it: “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

    Yes, that would be wise… 🙂
    Besides, dragons are well known not to be greedy creatures … 😀
    (um…)

    Speaking of greed (or rather, wealth – but the twain are intimately connected: “For greed all nature is too little…” – Seneca), interestingly enough “Art of Quotation” posted a really thought-provoking quote just yesterday:
    “There’s something about wealth and privilege that makes you feel like you’re above the law, that allows you to treat others like they don’t exist.”
    (could very well be a cultural thing quite as much as psychological, though)

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi N.Dragon! It is an absorbing topic, and so many ways to interpret and discuss it. But I also feel rather disgusted or more ashamed, speaking about it myself. Sitting here in my nice western society, at my stage of life and position, middle class comfortable, how can I even speak about poverty objectively. When I look around, I am ever so grateful to be relatively content in my life-that indeed is a privilege. Not that I have everything I want, but I do have everything I need. And I have had my years of uncertainty, struggle and well, I guess time below the poverty line for a time as a young person. Even so, it is nothing compared to the lives of some in the third world.
      I am most aligned with the quote by Socrates, “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”
      In thinking about that, I am definitely content.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even if we have never died from hunger, that does not mean that we cannot relate to it. Nor does the lack of actual experience with real poverty preclude us from understanding what it does to people.
        But yes, Amanda, it is very true that all too often we ignore that, which lies beyond our horizon. We live relative luxurious comfort in our rich societies, while elsewhere in the world there are people experiencing real hardships. And we ignore it – and soothe our conscience with the thought that we can always give some pittance in humanitarian relief aid when the next catastrophe occurs.
        We have to be aware of the privilege we enjoy by being able to live the way we do. And we should strive to change the world we live in, to make it more fair.
        Socrates is not a bad place to start… 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • That is the spirit, N. Dragon. It is comforting to hear that you are also on the same page as me in that we can do our utmost to spread awareness and information, and effect change in our own microcosm, and if so inclined, be an activist for wider improvement in humanitarian equity. I do not like to hear of certain religious organizations with a spiritual agenda who take groups of westerners into poverty-striken areas. They do pro-active things things like bringing in tourist volunteers who wish to ‘see the third world,’ and ‘do something to help,’ ie. build schools or teach English, but part of that makes me squirm. It is a bit like looking in on the fishbowl and building a coral cay for the fish to swim in…… How do you feel about this kind of tourism?

        Liked by 3 people

  2. One of my sisters and one of Warren Buffett’s daughters were good friends in high school. My mother always regretted the fact that Buffett never asked her to risk $10,000 to go into Berkshire Hathaway.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been asked twice to sacrifice my freedom for a secure income. In both cases, I chose poverty both times and was rewarded with peace and contentment with what I had. It would be lovely to have the income to do so many other things but the cost was truly not worth giving up my very essence. Greed never really rewards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How true are your words, Marlene. Greed never really rewards. You may have chosen the hard way, but you chose the happier way! Your words remind me of a time when I visited Nepal and saw poverty up close. But I never saw abject poverty. The children were poor as church mice, but appeared happy. Of course, they had very little and no doubt often went hungry. But they had smiles on their faces. No doubt their lives could be very much changed by certain sums of money, but they appeared to have a freedom from any chains of a financial addiction, that would be relatively unknown in the West. Interestingly, they didn’t appear to obsess about money or how much things cost. They made do with what was to hand or went without. Other things in life, grew in value and status for them. This does not mean that they didn’t take advantage of some monetary opportunities if it presented itself. After all, they were still making the most of what came their way.
      My own parents have been extremely greedy in their financial lives and worry constantly over losing money or an overwhelming financial crisis to the point that money for them, overrides the importance of personal relationships or reputation. They say it is because they lived through the depression. I think this argument has some merit but it doesn’t explain everything, and I feel there is a basis of selfishness in there . This greedy character trait hasn’t really rewarded them at all. They may be financially comfortable but continue to spend a good deal of time thinking about money and how much everything costs to the nth degree. For a time when I was young, I had very little money, lived in cheap, crappy rental accommodation and had no job. It was depressing. But it didn’t make me greedy or selfish. Just watchful and for a time very cautious. A lack of money is a terrible emotional drain, in that you have to be constantly watching meager sums of money be stretched in all different ways, but freedom is priceless. You chose well.

      Liked by 2 people

    • It can certainly work that way too, but then risk had other problems if you lose big. The one time I finally jumped in and took a risk on the share market, there was a huge crash three weeks later…….
      After waiting for years for it to recover, there was another crash and I got out. It kept me awake at night seeing great chunks of my savings be eroded on a daily basis.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: More on Greed Risk and Desire – Something to Ponder About

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