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50 Greed Quotes to Curb Any Selfish Tendencies

Published on January 17, 2020 7:40 AM EST
Greed Quotes to Curb Any Selfish Tendencies

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.

Greed Quotes to Curb Any Selfish Tendencies

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.

Greed quotes from philosophers

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

2. “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

3. “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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quotes about greed from authors

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

13. “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

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

15. “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

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

17. “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”― Edward Abbey

18. “The difference between greed and ambition is a greedy person desires things he isn’t prepared to work for.”― Habeeb Akande

19. “Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.”― Samuel Johnson

20. “Greed makes man blind and foolish, and makes him an easy prey for death.”— Rumi

21. “Poverty wants much; but avarice, everything.”— Publilius Syrus

22. “Pride, envy, avarice – these are the sparks have set on fire the hearts of all men.”—Dante Alighieri

23. “Most of the mess that is called history comes about because kings and presidents cannot be satisfied with a nice chicken and a good loaf of bread.”― Jennifer Donnelly

24. “Nothing makes us more vulnerable than loneliness except greed.”― Thomas Harris

25. “If you ask for too much, you lose even that which you have.”— Isaac Asimov

26. “So for a good old-gentlemanly vice, I think I must take up with avarice.”— Lord Byron

27. “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”— William Blake

28. “Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough.”― Janwillem van de Wetering

Greed quotes from politicians

29. “We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, we now know that it is bad economics.”― Franklin Delano Roosevelt

30. “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.”Benjamin Franklin

31. “The greed of the billionaire class has got to end and we are going to end it for them.”— Bernie Sanders

32. “Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.”― Horace Mann

33. “When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses.”― Shirley Chisholm

34. “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”― Mahatma Gandhi

35. “Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed.”― Mwai Kibaki

36. “Immense wealth, and its lavish expenditure, fill the great house with all that can please the eye, or tempt the taste. Here, appetite, not food, is the great desideratum.”Frederick Douglass

37. “Poverty wants some things, Luxury many things, Avarice all things.” ― Benjamin Franklin

38. “Avarice is the vice of declining years.”― George Bancroft

Quotes about greed from rich people

39. “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful”― Warren Buffett

40. “If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.”John D. Rockefeller

41. “People’s lives are forever controlled by two emotions: fear and greed.”— Robert T. Kiyosaki

42. “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”— Stephen Hawking

43. “To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress.”— Charlie Chaplin

Greed quotes from actors, pastors, doctors, and even a serial killer 

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

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

46. “The journey driven by the winds of greed are certain to run aground on the shoals of suffering.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough

47. “Life is easy, life is delightful. It’s only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings.”— Anthony de Mello

48. “Classism and greed are making insignificant all the other kinds of isms.”— Ruby Dee

 49. “Oh, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We’ve already got the stars.”―Bette Davis

50. “When you realize you cannot eat or drink money, the pursuit of it becomes senseless.”― Robert Black

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 greed quotes. Do you have any other insightful quotes to add? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

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