Even though one might imagine immoral and illegal acts taking place mostly in the streets and in poor neighborhoods, the greatest acts of greediness often take place among the people who already have it all. It is very hard to imagine people who already have more than enough money for the rest of their lives stealing, but this is a very common act. This greediness was epitomized by the recent case involving Martha Stewart, one of the most successful entrepreneurs who created an empire selling household products. In this case, Martha Stewart crumbled under pressure when presented with the opportunity to prevent her from losing money by committing an illegal act. Although Martha Stewart did not need that money for survival and already had enough money to live a very comfortable life, she still desired more money and was willing to put her reputation and career on the line to have it.
After making her fortune starting her own business from the ground up, Martha Stewart then took a managerial position and only became involved with certain projects in her company. Martha Stewart as a manager and entrepreneur gained a respectful and impeccable reputation. Products from her company could be found in anyone’s household and she represented the great potential of a driven woman. So it came as a shock, surprise, and disbelief when the news was released that Martha Stewart cheated the federal government and her shareholders for her own profit. Alongside her financial advisor, Peter Bacanovic, Martha Stewart decided to conceal information that one of the companies that she invested was being interrupted by the Federal and Drug Administration thus resulting in a major setback. After receiving this information illegally, Martha Stewart made the decision to sell her stock in order to prevent her from losing that money. As a result of her action, all the other investors who bought her stock lost almost all of their money, while Martha Stewart kept her fortune.
lthough Martha Stewart, at the time of the crime, was already a multimillionaire, her desire for more resulted in her downfall. Martha was willing to risk all that she had built in order to keep her fortune and this came with a price. From the moment that her trial started until she was finally found guilty, Martha paid for her actions in the worst manner possible. She paid for it everyday that she had to slowly walk the steps of the courthouse in the middle of Manhattan as she looked down and around trying to avoid the cameras. She paid for it after every comedian in the media created the worst jokes about her true character. She paid for it when she lost all respect and trust from others. More importantly, Martha Stewart learned her lesson by finding the true price of money. Some things in life are more importantly than money and once lost they can never be bought back.
Martha Stewart’s unstoppable drive for success eventually led to her moral demise but the effects on her supporters and her fans was even greater. Although Martha Stewart has declared to have found understood her mistake and to have found the right way, she will never be trusted by other people like she was before. By selling the bad stocks to other shareholders, she caused people to lose their retirement funds, trust funds, and sometimes their entire investments. As for Martha Stewart’s investor, he was also at fault for providing her with the information and his role in this event was one of temptation. Peter Bacanovic, by providing Martha Stewart with the opportunity to sin, acted much like the devil would with someone that is vulnerable and with the wrong morals. Sometimes the devil shows up with different faces and a person’s true values are tested when a decision has to be made over temptation or righteousness.
Of all the sins and temptations in the world, greed is above all the others. The desire to acquire more often leads people of all backgrounds, whether rich or poor, to commit illegal and immoral acts. Martha Stewart, someone who was seen as an exemplary citizen and successful entrepreneur, served as an example for what happens to someone who lacks moral values and is approached by temptation. As a result, she lost her reputation, trust from others, and respect; but on the other hand, she was able to learn the valuable lesson that temptation can show up in your door anytime and what define your moral values is whether you are ready to face it.