Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Joy of Delayed Gratification

I stumbled across this article today. Netflix, the great DVD mailing enterprise, is planning on cutting off it's DVD service and switching to a completely digital service, streaming movies to your TV. I'm guessing it's a purely economical decision; obviously it will be cheaper for them than purchasing and shipping disks. But I see it as yet another step toward a society obsessed with instant gratification. I no longer have to wait three days to see the movie I requested, I can have it right now.

But why not?  I often make my children work for or wait for the things they want, telling myself I'm preparing them for 'the real world', in which they will frequently be required to do so. But will they? They are growing up in a world of texting, microwaves and credit card 'sticks' that you simply swipe over a sensor. It's improbable that they'll actually have to do much waiting at all. Society tells me there is nothing wrong with indulging my whims; that I am entitled to the things I want and that I deserve to have them now. Why then would I submit myself to the uncomfortable emotions associated with waiting? How could that be good for me?

Well, Romans 5:3-4 says "We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." (Although my kids don't respond well when I tell them to glory in their sufferings.)

Ecclesiastes 7:8 "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride."

Hebrews 6:12 "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

Besides, waiting for something makes it all the more sweet. My husband and I recently talked about buying season passes to Disneyland. Our new home is a mere 20 minutes from the happiest place on earth. We were looking at taking the kids for a couple days and discovered that season passes weren't much more expensive. Really, economically, we might as well get the passes and have all our entertainment for the year wrapped up.

But I hesitate. We went to Disneyland once when I was a kid. I was probably 8 years old. I remember that trip vividly. I remember how hot it was. How I was afraid to go on the haunted house so I refused. How later when I decided I wanted to try it my mom wouldn't hike back across the park and the heaviness of that disappointment. The sugar crumbling off the churro that was such a treat. I recall details of that trip 20 some years later, and I savor them.

If we take our kids to Disneyland nine times this year, they won't remember a thing. It will become a casual thing; no big deal. And how in the world will we ever top it? I somehow doubt a day at the park will be enough to satisfy little ones who are used to a day riding the teacups.

I don't want to deny my kids the great pleasures of life. I do want to give my children the ability to savor and be satisfied with small pleasures.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Brieanna... first off welcome to CALI. I understand what you are saying about the passes. But I, my boyfriend, my roommate and her boys all have passes, we have the second to lowest passes (although I think they got rid of the one lower then ours) so we are block all summer, every saturday, some sundays and every holiday pretty much. I though that the boys wouldnt remember disney being special. But boy do they, we hardly ever go longer then a few hours but they will remember how each trip is and they get very excited when summer is over to go to Dland. I enjoy going all the time too, sometimes with the boys other times without the boys, everytime it is fun and different exspecially since disney is always doing seasonal stuff. with changing the hunted house, space mountain, the castle, etc, the boys cannot wait for the cars land to open in 2012, which seems like forever away if you ask me haha. plus the greatest thing is you can give a kid a day. like we sometime will tell one kid to pick a place in the park ie fanasty land and we will spend all day (well four hours) there and then leave. It then makes the next time going to tomorrowland like the first time. the magic of disney never dies with them. their is always something new and exciting and there are many character we have yet to see that the boys know we havent seen and will keep a look out. But being a pass holder I always want people to be pass holders with me. I am bais haha. plus then we can all go together :) but that is just my two cents. :)