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Delayed gratification

Updated on September 9, 2016

Delayed gratification

Whinya esq (the late) was my teacher and senior master for four years of my high school career. He taught me History, English Language, English Literature and Sociology. It was under his tutelage that the passion for literature was ignited. I recall reading Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and having Mr Whinya expounding on the text was a major highlight.

So enthralling were the Literature lessons that even if all other classes were a bore, I knew I would get a jumpstart once the Lit session came up. Although not an official mentor of mine, he shaped a lot of who I became. It was him who first opened me up to the world of economics. When we were in class he would at times speak about his experiences when he was in University. Listening to him go on about economics strengthened the bedrock upon which my interest in economics developed.

He was qualified to teach Sociology and he offered it to those who were interested out of his own free time, since it was not on the school curriculum. We used to hold lessons in the evening during study time or during the weekend. Through this I learnt first-hand that when one is passionate about something they are willing to put in the time and effort even if they are not getting paid.

While doing Sociology, he introduced us to the concept of deferred gratification. Simply defined he would say deferred gratification is ‘suffering now to enjoy later.’ It’s a philosophy which espouses the importance of working with a long term view rather than short termism. Being prepared to forego certain pleasures or conveniences in the short term in order to set yourself on a better footing.

Through deferred gratification I managed and still do push myself to achieve more than I could have had I shifted focus on immediate pleasures. Although on the outside people might have called me a spoil sport or boring, I didn’t not shift my focus from knowing that in order to attain the higher goals I had set for myself I had to keep pushing.

Whinya esq, I salute you!

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