Why are most leaders greedy?

benGift Sialubalo, the Sinazongwe UPND member of parliament, says only when leaders remove the spirit of greediness can they manage to uplift the livelihood of others.

“We don’t need greediness in leadership if we are to uplift people’s livelihood. Politics is just like courts of law; they all have the day of judgment. The judgment day for politicians in Zambia is 12 August every after five years,” notes Sialubalo. “If you want to be rich you need to work with others and not alone. Greediness cannot uplift our lives. Let’s build a good legacy around ourselves that we can ride on to get to other benefits. There are a lot of things now to do under the new dawn government, yet others just want to sit and wait. You officials don’t tempt us as elected leaders by just waiting upon us to give you everything, no! We are also expectant as leaders from the party officials because you are the owners of the party. So can you also see to it that government delivers to the people’s expectations.”

Greed is defined as intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.

According to Andrew Lo, “Greed occurs when the natural human impulse to collect and consume useful resources like food, material wealth or fame overwhelms the constraints that maintain the social ties in a group…When we succeed, we feel good. When we gather resources, we feel good. And because we feel good, we want more.”

Indeed, greedy leaders won’t uplift people’s livelihoods. They are always inclined to work for themselves – they are in it for self-service. And this kind of attitude we see it in many sectors – various leaderships. It is not limited or more prevalent among politicians although we most often tend to place more opinion or point fingers against our political leaders. But we find greed among church leaders, business executives, in all sectors of human endeavour. But just as those who wield power must exercise self-restraint, there’s equally need to put in check our desires.

As Ernesto Guevara de la Serna once put it, “Every day people straighten up the hair, why not the heart? The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.”

And in Luke 12:15 we warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

And Proverbs 15:27 says, “The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.”

And lastly, Ecclesiastes 5:10 reminds us that greed is never satisfied, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”

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