This post is the first part of an allegory entitled “Richard Greedy”
He was one happy healthy kid. His parents were multi-billionaires, and his mom spoiled him mercilessly. He was loved, loved, loved. As he grew up everyone loved him. The girls always liked him, for he was good looking. The boys all wanted to be his friend because he was so famous. Even adults thought he was just the cutest thing. He went to a private boarding school where he learned good manners. He got everything he wanted. Everyone wanted to be him. He was living, and basically had, the life.
Richard Greedy grew up with a dream. Buy a yacht, gather all his friends, and sail down the Vida River. So that’s exactly what he did. He went and had a custom made, personalized yacht, crafted for himself. No expense was spared and all stops were pulled. Everything was grand. Elegant staircases, beautiful ballrooms, luxurious rooms, and lush living areas. He had a pool and jacuzzi, a tennis court, basketball court, and a sand volleyball court all installed on his yacht. Richard’s favorite and most valued place on the whole yacht was the top deck. It was made especially for him. He had refrigerators full of delicate foods, fine wines, and craft beers. He had comfy chairs and lounge chairs installed exactly to his size and shape. Everything was perfect on his top deck. At the end of his long and stressful days of sporting and talking, he could just go up on the top deck, sit, and watch and enjoy everything that he owned.
Finally everything was finished. The grand yacht No Worries was ready to set off on its long voyage down the Vida River. Richard called all his friends to his side. His family decided to come too. He had everyone he wanted with him. They set off on Friday, September 1, 2020. And their plan—their ultimate beautiful plan—was to simply enjoy themselves on this 1 year journey down the Vida River.
The first three months were wonderful for Richard. He loved and reveled in everything that he had; and his friends all loved the journey they were on too. But one day he got struck by something. He had become discontent. He wanted something else, something more. He loved all his friends, but he decided that he needed new ones. So they harbored at Amicus City for one week. Richard made plenty of new friends, and even got a brand new automobile, and nothing less than the Fast 4000. He had it loaded onto his yacht just so he could sit and admire it. Finally satisfied, Richard left Amicus City to continue his journey with friends new and old.
Weeks passed and Richard and his many friends started to run out of food and wine. Richard loved the wine, so they were forced to stop again. This time Richard got barrels and barrels of elegant wines and crates and crates of more delicate foods. He also wanted to buy something else: a smaller boat to tug along behind the back of the yacht. He was tired of always having to bring the whole yacht into the harbor every time they needed to stop. It simply took too long are required too much work. So, he bought a new boat to drag along to keep his excursions from wasting his valuable time.
One day, there was a disruption of his usual routine: wake up at 10:00, be served a gourmet breakfast, swim in the pool, lie out or sit on his top deck, and many glasses of wine and trays of food all along the way. While Richard was lying out, enjoying the sun, with a girl under his arm, his butler came to him.
“Excuse me Mr. Greedy but the Captain would like to meet with you,” the butler said formally.
“What?” Richard was startled at the sound of his butler’s voice.
“Sir, the Captain requests a meeting with you,” the man repeated patiently, as if this happened daily.
“Oh yeah okay,” Richard sighed. “Well send him over here. Service!”
Ten minutes later Service came back with the Captain in tow.
“Mr. Greedy the Captain is here,” Service stated, and then went back to his business. Richard didn’t look up from the i-pad he was holding. The Captain cleared his throat expectantly. When Richard didn’t say anything the Captain started to speak.
“Mr. Greedy, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.” The Captain paused again and waited. When there was no response he spoke again. “Mr. Greedy, because of all the things that have been added to the boat, we have gained a lot of momentum.”
Richard looked up and finally acknowledged the Captain. “What do you mean by gained a lot of momentum?” He asked.
“Well, we’ve gained a lot of extra weight, because of all of the things you have been collecting recently, we have been moving down the river faster.”
“Okay Captain, get to the point, I still don’t understand,” Richard replied impatiently.
“Because of the extra weight, we are moving faster, and will reach our destination a lot more quickly than we originally planned.”
Richard laughed in the captain’s face. “Captain, what’s the problem with that? We will get to the end and have had a good journey!”
The Captain started to look uncertain. Fixing his gaze on Richard, he said slowly, “Mr. Greedy, what about the falls?”
“The falls?” Richard scoffed. “The falls, Captain? Those falls aren’t real. It’s just a story some old man made up when he got bored.” Richard shook his head and then said to the Captain, “Man I think you’re worrying too much. Go grab yourself a drink Captain and go relax.”
The Captain walked away with a new lightness in his step. If there were no falls, everyone on the boat would be fine. He didn’t understand why his heart had been so worried.
Danae VanOverloop, Whitney Scholten, and Alyssa Mastbergen