Mammoth Memory

Greed – Wanting or desiring something or more of something

To remember the meaning of the term Greed, use the following mnemonic:

Grab more than you need (greed).

Grab more than you need (greed).


In the film, "Wall Street", the main character, Gordon Gekko, tells an audience that "Greed is good, greed is right, greed works."

The point he was making was that greed is a motivator that helps to get things done.

His words came to epitomise greedy capitalism and excessive and selfish desire for more money and possessions.

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street": "Greed is good, greed is right, greed works".
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street": "Greed is good, greed is right, greed works".


Being ambitious for more when you already have more than you need is against the principles of most religions.

For Christians, Jesus's remark that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven is taken very seriously by many. However, this does not prevent, for instance, Bishops living in palaces and some of the world's richest people calling themselves Christians.

Although greed has long been defined as one of the seven deadly sins, it's not easy to pin down who is greedy and who isn't. A rich person who uses most of his or her wealth to help others – for instance, Bill Gates of Microsoft – might be seen as not greedy, whereas your much less well-off neighbour who buys herself a second car might be accused of greed.

The Christian encouragement to store up treasure in heaven rather than here on earth sounds virtuous, but from the point of view of poor workers being told this by well-off clergy in Victorian times, it seems like a self-seeking strategy for the rich upper classes.

Today, many people believe that wealth itself is not necessarily an indication of greed or a barrier to acceptance by God provided it is used constructively to help others and build a better world.

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