A farmer owned a small piece of land which he used to cultivate and earn his bread. The piece of land yielded good harvest- good enough for two seasons. However, he felt dissatisfied with it and was not content to have it all.
He looked around and envied those who owned more land. He wanted to acquire more land somehow. He dreamt of owning larger fields and getting more money. He became very miserly and never played host to others. He would save even a single grain, if he could. He never wanted to cook his corn. He was all the time uneasy and restless for more land. He forgot even to pray to God for a single moment.
When his greed and avarice took the better of him a holy man came to him and said, ‘Look! I grant you as much land as you can cover by walking today. But at the end of the day, before the sun sets, you should be here at this starting point.’ The holy man marked a line with his stick on the ground.
The farmer’s joy knew no bounds. He now felt that he would fulfill his dreams and desires of getting more land which he wished to own and it would be completely his. So without losing any further time, he took the holy man’s permission and set out as fast as his legs could carry him.
He ran through the land he wished to cover and own. At every distance, he noticed land which looked more beautiful and green. He kept walking farther and farther. He wanted to cover all the land possible. Not once did he look back to see how much land he had covered. He only looked forward to see how much land he had not covered yet. He did not waste a single moment. Every moment he took a step further for more land.
Suddenly, the farmer looked at the sky and the sun was about tp set. He was very far away from the starting point. As per the holy man’s condition, he had to get back to the place from where he had begun. He felt very nervous. The prospect of losing the covered ground made him hasten his walk back home. He found that his walk back home. He found that his feet failed to carry him at that pace. He was now panting and very tired. However, he never left hope. He kept on running and the sun too was on its way to set.
The question now was who would win the race? The sun or the farmer.
The farmer kept running as fast as he could and soon saw the holy man waiting for him at a distance. He now prayed to God to give him strength to reach the finishing line, but it was perhaps too late. The farmer was still away from the starting point and the sun had already set. The farmer became too breathless to reach the end. He collapsed due to tiredness. His greed took his life. He lost his balance of mind to pace up his walking.
His avarice to acquire immeasurable land had blinded him so much that he could not think how much he was really capable of walking to cover a distance. He did not realize his own capacity and limitation. He met with complete downfall. His greed went on increasing with each of his step.
It has been rightly said.
Avarice increases with the increasing pile of gold. When a person is not satisfied with what God has blessed him with. He becomes greedy. He begains to envy those who have more riches and wealth. He begins to be selfish and jealous and aims at keeping others inferior to him at a lower level. This often makes a person hard – hearted. He becomes ruthless in acquiring riches. What matters to him is that his actions should serve his interest only.
The avaricious man is like the barren sandy ground of the desert, which sucks in all the rain and dew with greediness but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others.
Greed and avarice make a man cruel to himself also in the process of trying to collect more. He neglects everything else and misses some very pleasant moments in life. He never feels happy and contented. He feels restless all the time and looks out for happiness. His only happiness lies in acquisition, the more he gets the less contentment is for him.
Therefore, one should not aim at acquiring more than what one needs. Each and every possessions in our life has a limited role. Beyond that it turns useless and loses its importance.
Remember, no one likes a greedy person. He has no honor in the eyes of his fellowmen, because instead of appreciating God’s generosity, he begins to accuse God for not giving him as much as others might have. Therefore, be balanced and do not look for more than what you need.