Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Society of Instant Gratification. What happened to Patience?

I was sitting with my therapist, and we were discussing why we don't see layaway departments anymore in stores. Consumers can't handle waiting for their purchases anymore. Before, there was the satisfaction of buying a product, putting it on layaway, making payments, and then when it was paid off, you got your item.

But, that's not good enough anymore.

With the onslaught of credit cards and debit cards for anyone and everyone, layaway departments went out of business. People didn't have the patience anymore to wait to make their payments ahead of time. They wanted their product now, and be damned about the money. They'd make their payments later. That's what credit cards were for, right? Who cared what the interest rate was, so long as they got their product now.

Instant Gratification. IG

IG, it follows into other parts of people's lives as well. I was talking to some women in my doctor's office the other day and we were talking about losing weight. We all had our stories to tell. One woman had lost 40 pounds and wanted to lose even more, while another had lost 60 and had more than a hundred to lose. I told them I lost 100 pounds and how it took me 3 years to do it by walking and eating right. They sighed and slumped their shoulders. I could hear the voices in their heads saying "so long, I can't wait that long!"

One woman piped up and said she was on a weight loss program with a doctor and was getting B-12 shots. I didn't pry and ask her what else she was doing on the program. But, I she did say she wasn't walking because of bad knees.

Dieters. Most of them want the Instant Gratification of weight loss. You see the commercials on television, on the Internet, and hear them on the radio. They all have these miracle cures for you to take and you'll be thin and toned in a few weeks. Do they work? Duh, NO! If they did, wouldn't we all be walking around toned and thin???

It all comes down to patience. No one has time for it anymore. It took years to put on that weight. It's not going to come off in a few weeks. Okay, so it might, but it's not going to stay off for a long time, especially not your life time. A slow and steady weight loss with a lifestyle change of new eating habits combined with an exercise program and you're more likely to have long term changes that are effective.

Those toys that consumer bought with his/her credit card? I'd probably win the bet that their kid was already bored with them by the time they were paid off, or they were broken.

No one has patience anymore. We have drive through banks. Fast food. And now curb side service at restaurants. You don't even have to get out of your car to get a good dinner. No patience.

We don't even have the pleasure of going to the record store and buying a record anymore. Open the iTunes store and purchase a song and download it to your iPod.

Instant Gratification.

What's next?

I wish you a slow and patient day.


Anonymous said...

Your point is well taken and slowing down a bit every day (the old phrase "stop and smell the roses" comes to mind) is so important. You have probably heard of the slow food movement. I think it started in Europe where people seem to take more time to enjoy and truly savor life. We need to learn this lesson!

Anonymous said...


Your points are well taken. Everytime I think about how hard it is to lose the pounds I'm working off, I have to remind myself that the pounds didn't come on overnight so what makes me think they'll disappear in a day or two or even a month.

There is an old saying, "patience is a virtue" and that is so true.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Eileen, I love the European lifestyle of stopping and savoring life and food. I wish that were more prevalent over here in the States. Guess we'll have to put into practice on our own.

Vicki M. Taylor said...

Beverly, I like that old saying. "Patience is a virtue."

I had to follow a similar mantra when I was losing weight. "It didn't go on overnight, it's not going to come off overnight." That's what helped me stay on course.

Anonymous said...

It's like how people surf the internet - they don't stop to read anything anymore! They just click so fast they miss most of what's right in front of their eyes!

We have created this "instant" world and are reaping the results with the younger generation having lower attention spans and attention deficits!

Patience is still a virtue and a wise course of action!

Vicki M. Taylor said...

PopArt, I so agree.

You won't believe this, but on the radio today, I heard an ad from K-Mart. They were advertising a new program. LAYAWAY!!! I guess with the economy the way it is, and the lack of credit from banks right now, Layaway might be making a come back. We'll see if it's successful.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. We all want instant success, instant weight loss, instant food.

Anything worth having is worth waiting for. We have to weigh something next year, don't we, it can be "less" if we just take it a day at a time.