The Three Most Maligned Virtues; Greed, Sloth and Pride. (3/22/2010)
I think that greed, sloth and pride get a bad rap. It was not the energetic guy who carried whatever load was required who invented the wheel or the wheelbarrow. It was the slothful soul who said “there must be an easier way.” We owe most all labor-saving devices to slothful folks. When you hire a carpenter or mechanic don’t you want the person who takes pride in their work? How about a doctor? I want the prideful person working for or on me. Who has created our economic system that has made it possible for us all to live as well as we do? Greedy folks. They do things people need to make money. They may be motivated by money, by greed, but what they do to get the money is of benefit to others.
Now, I don’t mean to say that all greed, sloth and pride is virtuous. I know it can be carried to extreme and be detrimental to a quality life for others. Iodine is good for you, in moderation. Too much is poison and can kill you. Greed, sloth and pride are not unmitigated good or evil. They can be among the deadly sins but I think they also should be considered virtues.
“Michael Lewis, Author of Liar’s Dice and a new book about being a father was interviewed on a late night show. He quoted his father as saying “Do as little as possible, and that unwillingly. For it is better to receive a slight reprimand than to perform an arduous task.” Michael went on to suggest a corollary “An awful lot of life’s problems solve themselves if you just leave them be.”