When people desire something immediately, the outcomes can get interesting. Take the man or woman who wants to select that bag of potato chips out of the vending machine. The coins are carefully placed in the slots, the levers are pulled and the bag of chips drops. Only one problem, the man or woman cannot reach in and get their desired choice from the machine. Then, the predictable reaction occurs, the man or woman is banging on the machine screaming, deprived of the bags of chips and their money. This can be a rather benign example of immediate gratification denied.
The drive for insatiable desire can lead to more serious consequences. This happened quite frequently when I was stationed on Okinawa Japan. There would be any number of injured Marines showing up in the Emergency Room because they tilted the beer machine in their barracks trying to get a beer that would not drop out of the machine properly. Here the insatiable desire to get drunk in the barracks resulted in some cases with cracked ribs. A beer machine falling on your body does not produce a desired outcome.
Currently, the culture is speeding faster and faster. There is an increase in people not choosing to want to take the time to read let alone critique what they read. Instead, everything is packaged in short sound bites along with battling screaming insults hurled at anyone and everyone on social media. Witness, how legislators have repeatedly reminded us that the majority of American citizens have not read the Mueller Report, because it is too long !
What a sad commentary ! You wonder if we don’t need to generate a cliff notes for dummies regarding negotiating the modern world. This does give hope for an enlightened electorate let alone a brilliant civilization.
Maybe like the slow food movement, we need a slower speed of conversation and communication with one another. What would happen if people took the time to share ideas and be open to considering other perspectives, instead of shouting down and dumbing down discourse in mean-spirited fashion ?
As long as I can remember, cultural stereotypes, especially for males, called for a lot of braggadocio, bombast and surface, servile witless comments. How did this get to be associated with projecting strength ? One wonders what the rest of the world considers when they witness some of our citizens, in real time and in cyber time, act in such a thoughtless and vulgar manner.
Media clamors to us that we want it all and that we want it now. The problem with this, of course, is that you may not get the quality you want when you want it all now. This is like the frenzied reaction of wanting to grasp for that fallen bag of chips in the vending machine. By the time you do Medieval battle with the steel mechanical foe, your bag of chips is all smashed.
What can heal our relentless drive for speed and for immediacy in everything we want ? After the rush subsides, is there any real satisfaction, any real savoring and appreciation for what you have consumed. ?
Or is it smashed and in pieces, only to offer hollow sustenance like fast food ?
May we resist the urge to grab for everything immediately and take time to savor that which is extended to us for greater enjoyment, pleasure and meaning.
May it be so.