The Greed For Speed

I admit it brings out the worst in me. In fact, Carol sometimes wonders if her husband has become possessed with a demonic crotchety old man’s spirit as I grouse about the BMW that has zoomed around me at a hyper-speed pace. Drivers who race down our four lane roads twenty miles an hour over the speed limit get under my skin.

The problem is that people who fall into that category are becoming the majority, not just an anomaly. Is it me? Have I transitioned into that head-shaking, pants pulled up tight, medicare-card-carrying geezer who thinks the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Or could some of my angst to placed on our culture’s greed for speed?

Ahhh, greed…not a word that usually gets attached to speed. It’s a term that we tend to tie to money and possessions, the tendency to never have enough, to always hunger for more. The speeding super-sized, jacked-up pickup truck that just jetted past me is simply an indication of our culture’s love affair with pushing the limits. To be clear, I’m not condemning the guy who drives 50 in a 45, or the lady who is hitting 70 in a 65. My angst is with those whose limit isn’t defined at all, the people who take all of the crab legs on the buffet, the losers who hoarded the TP during the beginning stages of the pandemic.

Greed surfaces in various ways, forms, and people. It rises in the child who is upset that he only has four stacks of Christmas presents and the parent whose child only played half of the Little League baseball game. It makes frequent appearances at the Las Vegas slot machines and even the talker who always seems to dominate the conversation.

In essence, greed is the absence of self-control. It puts the thirst of an individual over the rightful care of a community, the preference of the one over the safety of the many. It’s that decision that is characterized by a blindness toward others. In the Old Testament, Solomon wrote these words:

“Like a city whose walls are broken through
    is a person who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28)

Greed leaves us vulnerable for the tearing down of common sense.

For me and my grumbling about the speed demons on our roads, maybe I need to drive less and walk more…although I do have a growing fear about BMW’s hitting me as I cross a street and zooming skateboarders colliding with me as I leisurely stroll down a sidewalk.

Okay! Maybe it is me. Maybe I am the one who has the issues!

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