I think it ironic that America became one of the Great Nations on the world scene in a way that is now being called a vice.
America rose to prominence swiftly. Instant Gratification was the key. Delayed Gratification was the way of Old Europe. America had no patience with a slow, plodding path to greatness. We wanted ours and we wanted it now!
Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1804. A mere 16 years after our founding. That purchase doubled the territory of the United States immediately. He didn’t wait. There was no delayed gratification. Manifest Destiny was proclaimed almost as soon as this nation was born. Our fourth President, James Monroe, proclaimed that it was the fledgling American Nations destiny to span the continent from Maine to Florida to California and Oregon. He dared any to stand in the way by announcing our intentions to the world.
Texas pried itself from the corrupt Spanish-Mexican dalliance to the South. Proclaimed themselves a Republic and immediately announced their intention to join the America Union.
America told its youth to “Go West, Young Man” to seek fortune. There was no prohibition attached to it. There was no caveat. No one told them to anchor themselves responsibly or to establish themselves first and then move West. Negative. It was Go West….NOW! Fortune awaits you.
Our Banking Industry has ever been speculative. Speculation is not delayed gratification. It is the taking on of debt. It is a gamble. It pays off, it indebts. It creates, it destroys. Who told Rockefeller, Morgan or Vanderbilt to wait, to bide their time. The person offering that wisdom would have been shunted aside.
Did Steve Jobs or Bill Gates tarry? Did they establish themselves first? No, they set out to blaze new paths. They made it.
I wanted to write a book. I did it. It took me three years to do so. I didn’t want to wait for one of the Big Five Publishing houses to deem me worthy or to never deem me worthy. I wanted to publish it and I wanted it published NOW! I went to Amazon and did so. Instantly. Is that a part of the moral decay of instant gratification? It may be but No Regrets is for sale on Amazon as I write this.
American History is replete with men and women who could not wait. Who took chances. Men and Women who refused to wait their turn. They stepped out inot the World and demanded a place…they made their place. Not by waiting. Not through delayed gratification but in demanding of themselves the discipline, hard work and sometimes the bending of rules in order to get ahead and to make their fortunes.
Only conservative fools expect delayed gratification. Usually, they expect this “discipline” of others while they themselves acted in the same manner that they later decry as moral decay.
I find this senseless.
America was born impatient. We created ourselves. No God helped us. If anything, God stood by and watched. He may have admired us. To listen to some, though, he looked down upon America with disapproval for we dared to not delay our gratification.
We refused to wait our turn.
In the Immortal Words of some damn infantryman from time immemorial; “Lead, follow or get out of the way!” If you are so old that you can’t remember your youth or if you’ve led a life so boring that you waited for everything, go ahead and die. There are people behind you who are willing to live…who want to live. We do not see why we should wait until we are too old to enjoy it to do so.