In the words of the illustrious Black Eyed Peas, "This is a NOW generation. This is the generation NOW!"
We want what we want, and we want it now. So is that a bad thing? I remember growing up when you couldn't get a reward until you put in the work first. The wait made the reward that much more exciting.
Are we killing the excitement of gratification by engaging in immediate gratification? I know I appreciate things more after waiting for them.
Delayed gratification can produce a lot more than increased appreciation. It helps train you to develop self-control and long-suffering (not as terrible as it sounds). For example, doesn't that that dessert taste better once you've waited a whole week to eat it? Doesn't that promotion feel better after you've put in all the work to earn it versus just having it handed to you?
Do we really want to be a spoiled generation devoid of sensitivity to those around us who have far less and can't have what they want when they want?
I remember buying my first iPod mini. I worked for six months to save up the money to buy it. Each month I took out of my paycheck to save for it, it stung a little since that was a lot of "cold hard cash" for me at the time. I would go by the Apple store and look at the one I wanted. I had my eyes on the blue one. I'd go play with it and tell myself, "Just four more months of saving until it's yours." The four months passed, and I took the money I had set aside and bought my first iPod! It was so exciting to have the treasure I worked for and was disciplined enough to not go into any debt to get.
I still treasure that iPod even though technology has progressed, because it represents far more to me than a gadget. It is a symbol of my hard work, my discipline, the waiting and the achievement of a goal.
In our on demand generation, I'd like to remind you of the virtues of delayed gratification. Waiting won't hurt you. Delay the gratification a bit. You can!