We’re greedy.

We’re greedy.

We’re a more-ish species, not to be confused with Moorish.

Though some of us might be Moorish as well. For me, that’s unlikely. My line seems confined to the British Isles once you trace it back to the greats, save for a random German fellow on my father’s side who found his way in, once upon a time.

So, unlikely, not impossible, but also unknown. I’ve not done one of the genetic testing kits.

I’ve not done one for the same reason I’ve not voluntarily surrendered my fingerprints to law enforcement, just in case. I value my privacy. You give some of it up with your spit. I’m tempted though. Partly because it would be cool to know, and mostly because the commercials are everywhere. [i]


There’s a sequel, “Money Never Sleeps.”

Neither greed nor more-ish is about other people. They’re selfish states ninety-six percent of the time – I excuse the “greed” of a starving person approaching a buffet, for instance, since that kind of greed is more about desperation.

We do on occasion confuse the two.

“Greedy freaking homeless [insert expletive] looking for a handout,” or variation thereof isn’t an infrequently expressed sentiment, to my regret.

We do like to target the vulnerable.

Our criticisms rarely turn inward, however. Self-reflection and self-awareness aren’t species strengths, though a small number of us pursue life growth and enlightenment. But they’re qualities one has to work at, and in addition to greed, we’ve laziness to our credit.

We’re more animal than we like to think. Just one of the many herds dotted about.

Except for the greed feature. That’s uniquely us.

I’m not picking on the USA. You can sub in any country and the cartoon still works.

We’re born greedy, a necessary tool for survival. We may have potential cleverness and opposable thumbs, but we’re shockingly fragile and defenceless, especially in our tiny years.

No other species is as feeble at birth. And what’s up with the thin skin (figurative and metaphoric)?

Our greedy bent doesn’t disappear on its own. Nothing sophisticated about us is innate. It’s learned behaviour we teach and expand on with every generation. Nothing changes what we are when we arrive save that education.

Civilization is a learned skill, not a genetic trait.

Gary Larson’s books
rarely show up in thrift stores.

We teach little kids everything. We teach them not to be greedy. For a while.

Only take one. Share with your sister. Give half to your brother. It’d daddy’s turn to pick the show. Your teacher gets a turn to speak uninterrupted. What’s the magic word? Say “thank you.” Say, “excuse me.”

At some point, however, we stop. We rarely correct adults and we’re soft on our teens. Can you imagine giving your friend a nudge at the restaurant as you whisper to them, “say “thank you”?

Can you imagine telling a stranger at the grocery store to give the worker at the deli counter a chance to speak?

Can you imagine saying to your friend, “do you need that” as they fill up another shopping cart at Costo with new versions of already acquired stuff?

It’s part of the adult contract. We assume other people know how to get life done.

That’s a big assumption.

Greed isn’t good for us, but we’ve made it necessary. The trait we train out of our children is the one we reacquire as adults, needed to keep the economic wheels spinning.

Perhaps building the world’s economies around the consumption of stuff was a bad idea. Perhaps greed isn’t good. The one-hundred and seventy trillion plastic particles in the ocean seem to confirm that hypothesis.

[i] I live close to the US-Canadian border. There’s a program in place for citizens of both countries who regularly cross the line. Give up your fingerprints and some personal data to both your own and a foreign government for a quicker drive. Hard pass.

7 thoughts on “We’re greedy.

  1. There is a current theory that learning to cook food as a species unlocked our ability to absorb more calories. Our ability to stop chewing 6 hrs per day freed up our brains to grow ginormously so that we could think up disposable air fresheners for our cars and such

    So, to combat all we dislike about people? Obviously, stop cooking

    Liked by 1 person

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