The poverty of greed


Remember how you were always in a rush? Always preoccupied with the money, and with hardly any time to spare for the unimportant things?

Yes, you had bills and debts and oh so many things to juggle. No room for anything else. Understandable. Realistic.

But remember how everything became about you? Your numbers, your deadlines, your payments…even when you took them on behalf of others? Yes, you were the sole hero in your story, a story that became a monologue.

You often felt like half a person because for a time it didn’t seem you were rich enough or capable enough or in control enough. As if anyone who mattered cared one bit about all that. But you had no time to notice, and therefore believe.

And then the greed completely took over…and your only purpose became to secure enough “gold”  for your many, many “obligations”. That is what it told you. In reality, you wanted to be comfortable  and validated…you who needed no validation…by your peers and eventually some partner or children perhaps.

Yes, yes, only money buys security and pays for the things we need to survive. Yes, only money buys the grand label of provider…legitmacy in the eyes of the world. It shows everyone how strong and smart you are, how responsible, how successful, independent and impressive. So impressive.

But how is it working for you?

Can you buy enough pills to numb your pain and exhaustion? Enough drinks and distractions to keep you far away from that dark place inside yourself where the insecure child trembles and screams for a touch, for hope and for healing? Did you dazzle enough companions into staying around for the benefits? Did you succeed to sufficiently bribe your profound loneliness with pleasure and popularity so that it never speaks or shows itself to you?

What happens when the props all crash, even if only for a moment, and you look in the mirror? Who comes to you then?

And who will stand by you…who will offer the smallest gesture of tenderness (if not love) when the time comes and you are no longer useful or interesting to those you so desperately courted? Who will need your smile (yes, need) or ask a question about your heart? Whose eyes will light up when they see you, not because of what is in your wallet or framed on your wall, not because of what you drive or wear, but because of who you are, so beautiful and fragile?

You think you have lived if you have not lived as the light in someone else’s life?

The day will come, if it hasn’t already, when you will remember the one(s) you always left standing in the doorway with a heart full of sadness and eyes full of tears. You will remember all that you never asked about or listened to. You will remember that moment when you took the poison and felt invincible, and shrugged at how all that was most beautiful around you eventually withered and died.

You will remember all that you did not give. Because all you will have to wrap yourself in will be the poverty of your greed.

Yes, you should have been greedy…very greedy. For kindness and sharing, for playfulness and affection, for connection, loyalty, gratitude and passion. All those unimportant things that can not be counted yet count the most.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. arranbhansal says:

    Reblogged this on Confessions of a published author and commented:
    Great post


    1. Joanna L. says:

      Thank you so much!


  2. Beautiful. Now if only people would read this and listen and understand the words.


    1. Joanna L. says:

      Thank you Sheila. I wrote this not for those who struggle to make ends meet on the most basic level and struggle with incredible hardships, but for those who always put money first and ironically see everything else that is important in life as a complication and nuissance. And I also wrote this for those who suffer the consequences…those who love, who wait, who are set aside, and are eventually discarded if they don’t walk away first.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s