Anticipation: A Thing of the Past?

A friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day, "Guess what song is on my mind right now." Several friends, including me, guessed incorrectly. After a hint, one old high school classmate correctly responded, "Anticipation." With the song running through my mind, I went off to work. As I watched customers enter and leave the store I began to wonder if anticipation was becoming obsolete.

Most people have become used to instant gratification. When they want something, they want it now. With all the advances in technology, people who can afford it can have nearly everything instantly. If they can't, they get testy.

The strawberries sold out and the truck won't be in for 12 more hours? Outrageous! You don't carry sushi? Unthinkable! There are no little carts in the lobby and I don't want to push a regular sized one, but no, I don't want to wait while you try to find one for me. The sanitary wipe container is empty--what? Wait while you rip open the new package? All the cashiers are waiting on a customer, you should open more lanes so I don't have to wait. There are too many people in line at the service desk, will you walk up there with me so I can be waited on first?

Really?

No wonder children wail when they can't have what they want when they want it. That's the example they're seeing in society. Even if their parents are raising them to have manners and patience, when they see others receiving instant gratification for misbehavior, they at least have to try it.

Does anyone remember the pleasant feeling of waiting for a letter from a friend to arrive and the anticipation right before you ripped open the envelope? Who still holds a new book in their hands, eagerly anticipating the journey that awaits between the covers? Is there any meal more anticipated than the one that takes hours to prepare and sends fragrant odors wafting throughout the house?

Do you remember the scene in the movie "A River Runs Through It" when the younger brother is waiting for Father to okay the older brother's school work so they could go fishing? The joy when they are finally released outdoors to freely pursue their favorite activity cannot be felt if everything is handed to you on a silver platter before you even know you want it.

Don't let children miss out on the joys offered by waiting and anticipating good things in life. Don't deprive yourself of anticipation. Instant gratification isn't all bad and has it's place, but expecting it in every part of your life makes you an ornery person.


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