Remember this fable by Aesop?
ONE day a countryman going to the nest of his Goose found there an egg all yellow and glittering. When he took it up it was as heavy as lead and he was going to throw it away, because he thought a trick had been played upon him. But he took it home on second thoughts, and soon found to his delight that it was an egg of pure gold. Every morning the same thing occurred, and he soon became rich by selling his eggs. As he grew rich he grew greedy; and thinking to get at once all the gold the Goose could give, he killed it and opened it only to find,—nothing.
“To kill the Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs” is often used to express the idea of an unprofitable action motivated by greed.
So why do we want more and more of everything when we don’t really need it?
I have many pairs of shoes. But my friend has a new pair that I like better than any of mine. I don’t need any more shoes, still, I hurry to the store to get a pair like hers.
I don’t need everything, especially not the ‘everything’ everybody else has. I just need enough to live a good life.
Some tyrants have enough land, but they want more. Some politicians have enough power, but they want more. Some of us have a spouse who loves us, but we look elsewhere for someone we perceive as better. Some of us have children who for some reason in our own minds, don’t measure up to our expectations, so we berate them constantly. Some of us steal what others have worked for. Some of us lie to make ourselves look better. Some of us want to live in a world that asks nothing from us, so we stick needles in our arms, or swallow pills, or smoke marijuana or cocaine. And some of us will do anything at all for money.
What good comes from all that? I’ll answer the question: Nothing good comes from it.
We’re looking for satisfaction in the wrong places. We’re letting ourselves be drawn into a world of greed. For years, we’ve been enticed by television, movies, and the internet, to want more. By now, we’re nearly programmed to believe we actually need more.
We overlook the lovely, little spoonfuls of life because we no longer see them as enough. In fact, we’ve already come close to destroying things we see as small. Even face to face interaction with a loved one or a friend is seen as too small when we can ‘hit’ many more through Facebook, iPhones, etc. As a result, our society is becoming very saturated with ‘stuff,’ but very impersonal when it comes to people.
Like the countryman in the story above, we’re killing the golden goose of a joyous life—our life, which is a gift, after all. Soon we’ll have nothing left but our greed. And that will be the death of us.