Greed comes with a price

Published: Thu 17 Feb 2022, 9:00 AM

When I first earned a good profit in business, my father congratulated me but at the same time warned me, saying, 'Son, be honest and not greedy as honesty comes with a prize and greed comes with a price.' His words proved true in the future. I witnessed the downfall and misery of many greedy people.

In Dubai, I once rented a space for my grocery shop. I liked its central location and the vicinity. The community living there really needed a store like that. I readily accepted the agreement and started operating the shop. The broker and the neighbours warned me about the deranged behaviour of my landlord, but I thought that if I paid him the rent on time, why would he have any complaints? But later, the warning proved true. The owner was an old man who was greedy for money. He started grabbing more money from me under any pretext. Even for permitting minor repairs in the shop, he would ask money. If I complained, his curt reply would be to vacate the space. I became so tired of the harassment and the rising demands that I immediately moved my shop to another place. After some years, I heard the shocking news of his demise. He had organised a sports tournament and invested a huge amount, but it ended in a flop show. He couldn’t bear the shock of losing money and encountered a massive heart attack. I was surprised and thought if he showed some patience, he would have covered his loss within a year.

In another incident in India, the same story was repeated but in a different form. My wife and I had a good acquaintance with an old-aged person who had a wealthy background. He was a bed-ridden patient. We would go to his house occasionally to chat with him. Our purpose was to relieve him from his boredom and pains for some time. There was a lady in the house who was his second wife. She was so greedy that every time we visited her husband, she would expect us to give a present or money in some form. It was heard that she was so arrogant that if she didn’t like the food, she would throw the silver dishes in the air and kick them. One day she told us not to visit her husband empty-handed. We stopped the visits as per her wish. Later, when the gentleman passed away, destiny taught a bitter lesson to her. She became a lonely widow confined to the house. Her son and daughter-in-law were distant from her. When she died, the doctors diagnosed and concluded that her death was due to starvation and malnutrition.

The great philosopher Cicero aptly said- Avarice, in old age, is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach our journey’s end?

Dr Dhananjay (Jay) Datar is the chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading

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