All hail The instant gratification generation!
Lately, with Christmas looming, I’ve been wondering what to buy for family members. All the Christmas songs make it sound easy and fairly inexpensive. After all, isn’t a personal handmade gift something to be treasured? Sorry to say this is not so for the instant gratification generation!
Instant gratification, so what does that mean? Well, when a young adult sees a material thing they desire, whether it be a car, television set, expensive handbag or shoes, they buy it. There is no waiting for the right time, a holiday, birthday or event. They want it; they get it, right there and then. If they cannot afford it there are always deferred payments, sales, and plastic. After all, if they wait they may lose out.
Don’t get me wrong, we, the parents are responsible for this trend. We’ve told them from the time they could walk that they deserve the best. We’ve supported bad decisions, and helped them out of a debt countless times. After all, they are adults. They know the consequences, or do they?
The dangers of instant gratification are many. High-interest rates, bad credit ratings, and money spent on impulse, when it could be used for more important things like rent and food.
And what does this generation do when they become parents themselves. They can no longer give in to the instant gratification to which they have grown accustomed. They must sacrifice for their progeny. They must become us, giving until there is nothing left to give.
I remember when I was a young mother. My daughter was on top of the list. Whatever she needed came first. I wore my clothes till they were out of style. I drove a used car. I cooked dinners because restaurants were out of the question. I paid my bills on time and my credit was immaculate.
When my mother raised my three siblings and myself, she deprived herself of anything frivolous. If there was one piece of pie left, she cut it into four pieces and left none for herself. I believe that if there was a drought that woman would have died of thirst before she let us go without.
I am afraid for the instant gratification generation. We, their parents will not walk this earth forever and one day they will have to depend upon only themselves. They will have to sacrifice. I hope that any new mother will teach their children unselfishness. I hope that new mothers will sacrifice only when necessary and teach their children that instant gratification is not always possible. Unfortunately, as we age, we learn. Maybe we learn too late.
I am afraid for the children of today. Every time I enter a store there are always children crying and demanding their parents give in to their demands. And they do. That, my friends, is instant gratification in its infancy. And we only have ourselves to blame.