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American Greed

Do you believe that Americans are greedy?

I saw an advertisement recently for a documentary called American Greed.  Truthfully, I reacted a bit.  While we’ve seen politicians call out American greed and our lack of attention to the poor, I found myself pausing.

Aren’t Americans known for their generosity?  When tragedy strikes, it’s Americans who rush in and provide relief.  Is there any other country in the world known for their giving like the United States.  America values generosity so much that we encourage it as a matter of public policy.

Now, I know that Americans are known as well for our consumerism.  Whether it’s spending on pizza, movies, jewelry, clothes, candy bars, or furniture, the truth is that we like to spend on ourselves.  But that consumerism is not unique to America.  And that’s my point.

Every place you travel around the world, you’ll generally find that those in positions of power acquire wealth.  And they spend that wealth on themselves.  Greed.

It’s all relative—whether it’s a desert chieftain or a ruling despot.

Why?  Greed is not a cultural issue.  Greed is a condition of the human heart.  If you are human, you’ll struggle with greed at some point in your life.

And the only antidote known for this condition?  Generosity.

About Bill High

Bill is CEO of the Signatry: A Global Christian Foundation. He works with families, individual givers, and financial advisers to share the foundation’s message regarding biblical generosity and charitable giving. » Learn More. He is the co-author with David Green of Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously.

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