The Root of All Evil

“For the love of money people will steal from their mother. For the love of money people will rob their own brother. For the love of money people can’t even walk the street because they never know who in the world they’re gonna beat.  For that lean, mean, mean green almighty dollar, money.  For the love of money people will lie, Lord, they will cheat.  For the love of money people don’t care who they hurt or beat for the love of money a woman will sell her precious body.  For a small piece of paper it carries a lot of weight.  Call it lean, mean, mean green. Almighty dollar.”*

I don’t believe truer words have ever been spoken. When one looks at the current predicament of the world, the overwhelming prevalence of corruption, it is undeniably opprobrious. Big businesses bribing governments, elected officials from A to Z selling out those whom they are supposed to be servicing, all for 20 pieces of silver. Nations invading other sovereign nations, overthrowing democratically elected leaders, bombing and killing those who disagree with us under the guise of “fighting terrorism”.

The path of chasing the dollar bill is not a road newly travelled; it has been pursued for an immeasurable period of time. And the outcome is always the same. The perpetual pursuit of money is a delusive journey which does absolutely nothing to nourish the soul and leaves one continually wanting more. There is never enough. No amount is ever enough.  It is the equivalent of consuming empty calories, a bag of chips or piece of candy.  Or, even worse, crack cocaine.

Money has the same effect on us as a drug. When we have it we feel as though we are on top of the world — that all things are attainable.  When we don’t, we become depressed, stressed and frustrated. But even when there is money one soon discovers that ultimately it cannot bring us to a place of fulfillment or happiness — and it seems the more of it we have the further away from humanity we become. CEOs, instead of growing companies, ruin them and feel no remorse in walking away with multi-million dollar severance packages while loyal and hard-working employees are discarded like yesterday’s trash.

Corporations exploit the natural resources of a developing country and give nothing back in return. But they don’t just stop there. They engage in hazardous business practices turning people’s habitations into pollution zones.

And let’s not forget the behemoth of them all, the war machine. Yes, the Military Industrial Complex. This insatiable beast that President Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address. But even he, I’m sure, didn’t fathom the enormity to which today’s war profiteers have reached.

There are no limits anymore. There are no boundaries we won’t cross. No laws which won’t be broken. Principles, morals, consideration for humanity have no place in 21st century capitalism. It’s get rich or die kill trying.

And only when the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned will we realize that WE CAN’T EAT MONEY.**

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* Lyrics from For The Love Of Money - 1973, song performed by The O’Jays

** Cree proverb