The pursuit and accumulation of the substitute not only seems to make up for her loss, but also provides comfort and reassurance, and distracts from frightening feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness.
As far as she can see, life is a simple choice between greed and fear.
The origins of greed Greed often arises from early negative experiences such as parental inconsistency, neglect, or abuse.
In later life, feelings of anxiety and vulnerability, often combined with low self-esteem, lead the person to fixate on a particular substitute for what she once needed but could not find.
For example, a man who craves power and runs for political office may deceive others (and, in the end, perhaps also himself) that what he really wants is to help others, while also speaking out against those who, like himself, crave power for the sake of power.
Deception is a common outcome of greed, as is envy and spite.
Greed, though an imperfect force, is the only consistent human motivation, and produces preferable economic and social outcomes most of the time and under most conditions.
Whereas altruism is a mature and refined capability, greed is a visceral and democratic impulse, and ideally suited to our dumbed down consumer culture.
Greed is also associated with negative emotional states such as stress, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and despair, and with maladaptive behaviours such as gambling, scavenging, hoarding, trickery, and theft.
By overcoming reason, compassion, and love, greed undoes family and community ties and undermines the very values on which society and civilization are founded.