Sunday, May 1, 2011

Of need and greed

 The world of contrasts. [Photo credits: Joshi Daniel, currentbusiness]

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed" 
-Mahatma Gandhi
Poverty alleviation is about meeting man's needs. Economic growth is about meeting man's greed. And the first is definitely more important than the second. While needs are few, greed can be unending, which tells us that the first should also be easier to achieve than the second. Yet, humanity seems to be crawling towards the first goal while it's hurtling towards the second.


  1. While you are correct, we need to answer an important question - what constitutes need and what constitutes greed? Where to we draw the line? What is greed for one might be need for another. And considering the nature of the proposition, it's rather hard to arrive at a precise answer.

  2. @indisch: A thoughtful question indeed! True that where we draw the line is a very subjective matter. Let's assume that greed is only finite and then say we have a scale of 1-100 where 1 indicates minimum greed and 100 indicates maximum greed. Knowing that greed is bad, every man's effort should be to draw his line - that separates need from greed - as low as 'possible' on the scale.