Last night, I watched a documentary on Enron. It reminded me how hypnotizing greed can be. It can make even the most scenical of skeptics surrender to it’s charm, and I am no exception. Ten years ago, I got caught up in a Nigerian scam. It involved a bogus multi-million dollar contract from a major oil company, $10,000 in cash concealed in two first class dopp kits, a Nigerian chief, and a Montblanc pen. The story is quite incredible, and ends with me escaping in the middle of the night from my hotel in Warri to avoid being kidnapped. Perhaps I’ll spend a couple of hours one day inventorying the events of my Nigerian nightmare, but I mainly wanted to make it known that I’m no stranger to greed. The deal reeked like a dead fish, and I sank my teeth in.
On more than one occassion, I’ve described greed as the gremlin that crawls up your back, looks you in the eye and tells you that you deserve more. Like the line in the movie Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, when the young actor asks his nemisis what his number is, and he says “more.” More is never enough.
I’m no politician, nor am I the next Robin Hood, but I think there may be something magical about repressing greed. I’ve never experienced or heard of anyone on their death bed wishing they had time to earn more, get more, or spend more. Sure, I want nice things for my family, and myself, but not at any cost.
So to all the other conservative liberals, and capitalistic democrats out there…give generously, do the right thing, and hang on to your soul; you may need your ticket punched some day.