In the words of philosopher Erich Fromm, “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.’’ It can be technically defined as the propensity to want more than what is absolutely necessary for survival, but to someone who values his quality of life by the quantity of his possessions, it is more than just another antonym for ascetic. To the one caught up in the throes of perpetual seeking, nothing matters more than an almost-feverish accumulation, and any means are justifiable so long as they bring about the desired end- not that there is an actual limit to how far greed can stretch.
Throughout history, gluttony has been perceived as one of the seven deadly sins on account of the social implications that accompany it as surely as shadow does light. For example, a gluttonous person is likely to resort to stealing to obtain what he cannot otherwise acquire, and a workaholic may end up straining ties with his own kin due to him making his office his new place of residence. Greed is pervasive and all-consuming, permeating through the consciousness the way a noxious gas would fill an enclosed space, usurping other priorities in the face of endless scavenging. Comparison to voracious way in which a hyena devours a carcass may seem exaggerated, but the manner in which compulsive gamblers can throw away sleep and meals and limb itself just to feed their addictions is neither a small, nor a laughing one.