35 Greed Quotes to Curb Any Selfish Tendencies

Danielle Dahl

Has greed been creeping into areas of your life?

This collection of insightful greed quotes will help you curb any selfish tendencies.

Greed is defined as a person’s intense and selfish desire for something.

This something is most often money, power, or food.

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How does the feeling of always wanting more and being greedy affect people?

It is important to realize that the effects of greed are rooted deeply in our emotions since wealth and security aren’t a bad thing by themselves.

We all probably think we could use a little more money, and that doesn’t make us terrible people. 

Greed becomes a problem when you have enough and are willing to do nearly anything to achieve even more.

Philosophers, writers, politicians, and nearly everyone in between has something to say on the matter of greed.

Below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and thought-provoking greed quotes and sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Check out our inspirational quotes category page for more inspirational life quotes.

More greed quotes to contemplate on

1. “Greed is normally balanced by fear.” ― Peter Schiff

2. “Greed’s worst point is its ingratitude.” Seneca the Younger

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3. “Lust and greed are more gullible than innocence.” Mason Cooley

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4. “Ignorance, hatred and greed are killing nature.” — Masanobu Fukuoka

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5. “Greed is the assumption that it is all for my consumption.” — Andy Stanley

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6. “A healthy desire for wealth is not greed. It’s a desire for life.” Jen Sincero

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7. “If your desires be endless, your cares and fears will be so too.” ― Thomas Fuller

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8. “Our labor preserves us from three great evils — weariness, vice, and want.” Voltaire

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9. “Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer.” Julian Casablancas

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10. “From the first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization.” Friedrich Engels

Greed quotes from philosophers

11. “You have succeeded in life when all you really WANT is only what you really NEED.” ― Vernon Howard

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12. “Do not follow vain desires; for verily he who prospers is preserved from lust, greed and anger.” Abu Bakr

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13. “The Master said, “The gentleman understands what is right, whereas the petty man understands profit.” ― Confucius

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14. “We shall have to practise to lead our life on the basis of our needs, not under the influence of our greed.” Lobsang Tenzin

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15. “Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.” — Erich Fromm

16. “The Master said, “If your conduct is determined solely by considerations of profit you will arouse great resentment.”― Confucius

17. “There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.” Siddharta Gautama

18. “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” ― Erich Fromm

19. “The Master said, “A true gentleman is one who has set his heart upon the Way. A fellow who is ashamed merely of shabby clothing or modest meals is not even worth conversing with.” Confucius

Quotes about greed from authors

20. “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” ― Mark Twain

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21. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.” Maya Angelou

22. “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates

23. “It didn’t occur to me until later that there´s another truth, very simple: greed in a good cause is still greed.” ― Stephen King

24. “Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” Sylvia Plath

25. “There are three wants which can never be satisfied: that of the rich, who wants something more; that of the sick, who wants something different; and that of the traveler, who says, “Anywhere but here”” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Greed quotes than make you not envy others

26. “Greed alters our sense of priorities.” Jay Ghosh

27. “Money is not the root of all evil, greed is.” Philip John Miller

28. “All hardships in life arise from greed and desire.” Thich Nhat Hanh

29. “Greed is the pursuit of money, wealth and power at the expense of others.” Charles Carradine

30. “I believe greed is actually measured by what it costs you, not by what you have.” Jimmy Houston

31. “Greed has the ability to blind a person, making wrong seem right, and vice versa.” Shannon Holmes

32. “When greed, selfishness, and personal pleasure supersede, any society is subject to collapse.” Debra Jean Anderson

33. “Greed cuts in line, greed doesn’t give when it should, and greed always wants more. Enough is never enough where greed is concerned.” Elisabeth Bennett

34. “Greed is a kind of philosophical confusion, a misunderstanding of what one really wants—a secure sense of oneself and the respect of others.” Robert C. Solomon

35. “The problem with greed is unless there is someone to warn you about it, it will creep up on you; and before you know, it has you hook, line, and sinker.” Joseph Lacerenza

Greed Quotes on the Dangers of Excessive Desire

36. “He who is greedy is always in want.” ― Horace

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37. “It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.” ― Democritus

38. “The greedy man is incontent with a whole world set before him.” ― Saadi

39. “We risk all in being too greedy.” ― Jean de La Fontaine

40. “There are a lot of people who are doing wonderful things, quietly, with no motive of greed, or hostility toward other people, or delusions of superiority.” ― Charles Kuralt

41. “Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear.” ― Cyril Connolly

42. “The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor.” ― Thomas R. Donahue

43. “Greed has driven the world crazy. And I think I’m lucky that I have a place over here that I can call home.” ― Nina Simone

44. “Oh, the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling. It’s the unraveling and it undoes all the joy that could be.” ― Joni Mitchell

45. “Greed has taken the whole universe, and nobody is worried about their soul.” ― Little Richard

What did you learn from these greed quotes?

The greed quotes listed above come from every type of profession and walk of life.

It is kind of ironic to see wealthy and powerful people speaking about greed, but not as strange as a serial killer!

Has greed been creeping into areas of your life?

Don’t let it consume you. 

There was this proverb I read once about an American CEO who worked long hours and amassed a small fortune.

He went on a vacation and chartered a fisherman in Mexico.

He talked and talked about his wealth and how he could afford all these things, including the vacation and boat charter.

The fisherman pointed out that he lives in a small hut and fishes all day for a living.

It really stuck with me and I always find myself asking if possessions are worth the time away from those we love.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these insightful greed quotes.

Do you have any other helpful quotes to add?

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Danielle Dahl
Danielle is the Managing Editor for EverydayPower.com. She has a Master's in Management and Leadership and is also a Life Coach. These skills, coupled with her background, both professional and personal, help her write on a variety of topics. This content is centered on team and self-development, trauma, motivation, and other inspirational messages. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. When not writing she can found reading, cooking, and helping others overcome obstacles in their daily lives.
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