The greed instinct is perhaps as old as Homo sapiens. In fact, greed characterizes this species exclusively in terms of recognizing it for what it is, because animals act or react instinctively to hunger or lust or anything without having the power to decipher this as ‘greed’, and if possible it We would also have seen numerous rivalries, outbursts of envy, uprisings and power struggles in the animal world. Greed is a simple five-letter word, even shorter in some regional languages; but it encompasses innumerable fields of activity, not only limited to the varieties of food and culinary delights. The greed for money has been historically significant, demonstrated in all ages, even specifically in modern civilization.
It influences human beings in their relationships, both in the family and in the workplace, which generates a sense of competitiveness and envy; it influences the human being in the basic male-female relationships leading to subtle or obtuse expressions of lust that actually emanates from the greed for carnal pleasures; influences human beings in their marital relationships in a vicious cycle of mutual greed for positions, income, wardrobe, etc. creates virtual earthquakes in workplaces where colleagues and bosses act or react in unprecedented ways driven, obviously, by the greed for promotions or absolute control or the appropriation or theft of credits; the uncontrollable lust for alcoholic liquor that often results in skirmishes both in homes with family members and on the streets with friends or even strangers; and, of course, the eternal lust for eating in the houses or in the attractive outdoor bars / restaurants / bars. Of course, we must distinguish between the “eat to live” and “live to eat” urges to avoid harmful generalizations.
The above examples should be considered extremely limited in view of the unimaginably expansive networks that greed can create and evolve. It can act both at the micro and macro levels, from nuclear families to international politics of strategies and wars. The basic instincts in the operations of staunch criminals and terrorists also emanate from greed; however, we will exclude this class from our treatment due to the rather “light” nature of this piece. The importance of the ‘greed quotient’ is crucial when it comes to consequences. As we already indicated, if the quotient is negligibly minimal, then greed operates at a subtle level without any visible adverse impact; And when the quotient is nearly one hundred percent, greed operates at an obtuse level that leads to family, social, or even international disturbances.
Again, in view of the ‘light’ nature of this piece, we will limit ourselves to expressions or acts of greed in relation to the food industry only. Considering the scope of humanity’s civilization, greed should exist only for cooked or ready-to-eat foods, thus excluding raw varieties, save for some of the vegetables and of course fruits. However, this cannot be seen as a conclusive claim. When we go to the fish or meat markets we cannot avoid touching and pressing the raw pieces to test the ‘quality’, basically for mental comfort; but there are others whose greed quotient must on the higher side, put their fingers on raw fish or meat, press it, and then lick their fingers, perhaps to savor its potential delicacies.
In the fields of apparel, cosmetics, fashion, and consumer durables, it is extremely difficult to separate the greed quotient from other factors such as need, glamor, consumerism, and choices. But of course we can rely on this indicator: the higher the number of unnecessary purchases, mostly luxury and expensive items, the higher the value of the greed quotient. Therefore, it is not at all surprising to find caricatures of human beings in terms of clothing or cosmetics or the lack of them everywhere, the basis of which is deeply rooted in the greed factor.
Going out for lunch or dinner at coveted restaurants, from the one to five and six star varieties, is not always based on greed. Sometimes it is a matter of weekend or holiday habits, sometimes it is to be free from the constant commitment of the kitchen and other times it is only for pleasure that greed can come into play. When we find large crowds waiting for hours before restaurants known for their gourmet delights in the dead of night, it is clearly a case of higher or very high values of the greed quotient.
A fierce sense of competitiveness with neighbors, colleagues and relatives causes unfortunate changes in the values of the greed quotient. The famous advertising slogan “envy of neighbors, pride of owners” was perhaps a direct incitement to unfavorable values in the greed quotient. If a neighbor buys an expensive luxury item or a car, you feel compelled to do the same, even risking a financial crisis. The same applies to expensive fashion costumes and a variety of other consumer durables, and also to leisure travel that might otherwise have been avoided.
During unusual times such as war or a pandemic that continues for a long time, the syndrome of the ‘repressed greed quotient’ arises, and when things seem to return to normal, there is an upward explosion in values, leading to patterns of abnormal behavior. and violations of rules and regulations. In fact, affected governments react in a way that is based on their values. Speaking more positively, this ‘suppressed greed’ or even normal greed does not affect the poor and lower middle classes as much as it does the wealthy classes, and this is a blessing to the underprivileged, saving them from further suffering.
Let’s conclude this piece with a nice story about a shy and introverted young man who had dinner one night at his uncle’s house. There was a delicious egg curry prepared by her aunt. The young man was savoring his food, eating the curry-soaked rice licking his fingers, smacking his lips until only the full egg remained on his plate. His uncle was noticing the young man’s eating pattern procedures. Suddenly the uncle exclaimed, “My God! You didn’t eat the egg! You don’t like it?” and before the poor man could answer, the uncle took the egg and put it in his mouth in a single movement, with both cheeks puffed up in a pure joy to chew. The young man looked stunned, horrified, and completely heartbroken. She had deftly kept the egg filled, resisting the urge to have it immediately in whole or in parts, for a delicious finish.