THESE ARE THE WORDS OF TODDLERS… OR MAYBE IT’S US.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and your toddler wants, or rather, “needs” everything now? And then there’s the inconsolable screaming fit that ensues. Yes, indeed, my toddlers do this often. You can’t reason with the little humans, they have convinced themselves that their life will be horrible unless they have THAT toy.
I’m going to be honest, I love spending money. I also love seeing the newest and greatest things come out on Amazon or Kohls. It’s fun, exciting, and I sort of turn into a toddler again as I’m walking through the store with my husband. “But, honey, I neeeeeeed thaaaat one!!”
It’s pretty amazing the inventions and technologies that are surfacing these days. Especially the speed in which we can get stuff…. There was never a time in history when people could get what they wanted in an instant. Amazon offers 1 hour shipping… um, how awesome is that, right?! And I’m totally willing to spend $15.00 just to have it at my doorstep in 1 hour…. Even though it would be less expensive to take the time to go to the store or even just opt for cheaper shipping, but then I would have to deal with, um, people….or wait 2 whole days longer to receive it…. I’ll just pay the extra 15 dollars.
I got to thinking lately about our era; our generation truly has a gift. We find better ways to get what we want faster and at lower cost. But what is the cost of our instant gratification culture?
In theory, there is nothing wrong with making newer and cheaper things, just like there’s nothing wrong with the ability to get it quickly. But what is it doing to our psyche?
ARE WE HAPPY THOUGH?
We are creatures of habit. When we get used to having more and getting things faster, we become discontented with anything less. Waiting for anything feels insufferable, and the treasures we already own, become worthless in our eyes.
Back in the days of Piggy Banks and Saving Envelopes, it took time to save up for something. It wasn’t easy. And when we finally got it, it was considered valuable. You took care of the object and ensured its safety. When it broke, there was a proper sense of loss.
It seems to me, that even in this materialistic sense, there was a sense that time was sacred. When something broke you felt loss and learned true detachment. Nowadays, most things are poorly made and have no value beyond their immediate usefulness and can be easily replaced.
Which, on a deeper note, brings us to loss. When everything is easy or quick to replace, how do we understand the loss of more important things, like relationships, or loved ones? These things cannot or perhaps should not be replaced quickly or forgotten.
THERE’S AN EASY SOLUTION!
So, why am I even analyzing this? I mean, seriously, what is so wrong about replacing things quickly?
There’s nothing wrong with speed. Just like there’s nothing wrong with replacing broken things. It’s our lack of gratitude for what we already have that is the problem.
I think Sheryl Crowe got it right when she wrote “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got!”
It’s kind of a sermon in a sentence for me.
Gratitude is so necessary for our happiness. Without this virtue, we grow anxious, and our anxiety can lead to other problems that are not healthy for a family. The desire for “More, Now” doesn’t let us truly appreciate what is sitting in front of us.
I wish I knew who the author of this quote was, but I thought it was very telling:
“The things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.” -Unknown`
BABY-STEPS TOWARD GRATITUDE
If you strive to be content with the little things that you already have, it’s amazing how the desire to have everything now, disappears.
So, maybe instead of charging up that extra order on Amazon Prime or binge watching the latest show on Netflix, take a few minutes, write a friend, play with your kids, start a garden…. save your money for something that has real value.
It can be a fun challenge! Creativity really starts to bloom!
My own personal challenge this week is to really try to slow down and focus on all the different things I can do with what I already have. I can’t make changes cold turkey though, so I’m going to try to improve myself in very small baby-steps… starting a savings envelope for that new rug I’ve been dying to get, or not opting for the fastest shipping available online….
Except perhaps a coffee maker… if that sucker goes out, I’m placing a 30 min order on Amazon and asking for tracking 😉
Comment below and tell me what you think about or instant access world. But be sure to also say what you are grateful for as well!