I have often wondered what makes people accept bribes, steal from their jobs or involve their self in any other kind of fraudulent activity that results in them losing their employment and oftentimes going to jail. In the end the answer is simple; greed.
Greed is defined as
an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth
When I look back at politicians such as former Memphis Councilman Ricky (Re)Peete who was caught accepting bribes not once, but twice (hence the (re in his name), I realize that sometimes the love of money will make you stoop to lows that even you didn’t think you would reach. Ricky Peete was convicted almost twenty years ago on corruption charges, he went to the big house and did his time and once released the people of his district trusted him again to represent them. The felon was in office again. Boy did he show them! Ricky got back into the swing of things and did what he knew best, once again he did a little dabbling with bribery. This time he was sentenced to 51 months in prison. Now you would think that after serving two years in jail and six months in a half way house the first time he committed this crime, Ricky (Re) Peete would have known better, but obviously for the first time wasn’t enough for him so he decided to give it a go again. Sadly Ricky (Re) Peete supposedly only received $12,400 from the crooked deal that landed him in the clink. Now if that isn’t greed I don’t know what is. You lose a seat on the City Council and your freedom for a measly twelve grand. smh
Of course Ricky wasn’t alone, once the wheels of Operation Tennessee Waltz got to rollin’ the round up was embarrassing. The number of brown faces placed in the clink was pathetic. They were found guilty of charges ranging from bribery to extortion . Of those charged I have to say that former State Sen. John Ford was the most defiant. He bragged and bribed, cheated and bragged, bragged, cheated, bribed and lied and bragged. In the end he too was sent to the clink. These people had so much to lose, but their greed blinded them and they could only see dollar signs.
But why would these people in such predominant positions risk their reputations, their jobs and the seats they campaigned hard for? The answer is greed. Why else would a woman in her sixties go to the clink over a few pennies? Why else would this woman steal millions of dollars from her job and buy a home that she and everyone else knew she couldn’t afford unless she was doing something illegal or had secretly won the lottery? GREED!
The funny thing about greed is that it leaves you hungry. Once you begin the scandalous road of stealing, whether it be from your job, from someone else, from the city/state or even from the cookie jar you will continue to do it. That is why it is called greed. You can’t get enough of something that does not belong to you. For some reason you are never satisfied with what you have whether it is legitimately yours or whether you got it illegally, you want more so your hunger has to be fed.
But in the end it isn’t so much your wrongdoings that catch up with you, it is your greed that displays your wrongdoings. Your greed will always make your mistakes easier to spot and your negligence neon for the radar because your greed has your senses blocked. You don’t notice your mistakes because at that very moment the money is your concern; not the repercussions or your livelihood. However, you never can fulfill the hunger of your greed and in the end greed will getcha every time!