“You know what the problem is? If I don’t have what you have, it makes me less of a man. That’s why I need to have everything…”

So I went to my neighbours and had a look.

Turns out, many of the things I have in my home, my neighbours have too! A TV, a tablet, a car, and guess what, they also had a bed! Not to mention the telephone, the table, a pile of books and some pictures on the wall. Then I explored their garden, and found several plants I didn’t have. One of them was a plant which the neighbour claimed was a natural amphetamine, something I thought would be a good idea to have in my garden too!

Then I thought I’d do a little experiment. I told them I’d just won the lottery, and so much money was way too much for me alone, so I thought of sharing it with them. If they’d be interested…

Instantly the groveling started. Shooore they were interested! And they’d do lots for it. When I asked them what they were thinking of doing with the money, they revealed plans to retire. Stash the money and live off the interest. This surprised me…

So was my daddy right?

I don’t think so. You can’t blame a giraffe for its long neck! You can’t blame a chameleon for changing its colours! Looking like we’re less than the neighbours isn’t the reason for our avarice. We’re not after the things our neighbours have, we’re after money.

Then I wondered if the acquisitiveness stops with having enough to retire, like it seemed to be with my neighbours. It didn’t take me long to realise that that isn’t the case. Many people keep on gathering, beyond usefulness, beyond any limits of reason. And one look at how our capitalist society works, showed me why.

Wealth brings perceived freedom. What is more, wealth brings power. The more we have, the more people bend to our wishes, and the feeling of power is a deliciously addictive one; if corrupting.

Ridding the world of avarice, is simple: detach power from money. I’m not calling for socialism. That is perhaps the furthest humans can develop themselves away from the animal kingdom, it is unnatural, and therefore as of yet unattainable. No species takes care of the weak.

No, just make money a unit for goods, and not for effort. Effort can only be repaid by effort; you do something for me, I do something for you. This way money can no longer hold power over individuals, and thus soon our desire for it will diminish.

Previously posted on My.Opera, when they still had a blogging service. I’m rerunning the Daddy Said series here; when I feel like, I’ll write a new episode. This one I wrote in 2009; the fourth of the deadly sins.