The other night, I went to our local DVD rental store, because yes, I'm old school and I've never had Netflix or cable. Try to set that detail aside, and stand with me for a moment in the ancient aisles of my DVD rental store, Family Video. So I'm perusing movie titles, and a married couple in the aisle next to me has a conundrum. The wife points to a movie and says, “Oh, I really wanted to watch that one – but it’s only available on Blu-Ray.”
The husband has a quick solution, as many husbands do: “Well, we could always just run over to Best Buy and use my points to buy a new Blu-Ray player.”
If this interaction had been documented on Twitter, it would’ve merited the hashtag, #firstworldproblems.
I found myself instinctively looking at my watch. 8:40pm. Were they seriously going to rent the Blu-Ray movie of their choice, drive to Best Buy, and purchase a brand new Blu-Ray player, just so they could watch the movie they wanted to watch?
Now, there’s nothing wrong with shopping at Best Buy or having Best Buy points to spend — I fall into this category, on both counts.
But after hearing this couple’s interaction, I did wonder: Does our culture’s knee-jerk reaction toward immediate gratification cause us to miss the important life lesson of learning patience?
After checking out my DVDs from Family Video, I climbed into my minivan and did a little soul searching. I thought about how quick I am to go out and buy things as I need them, provided the money is available.
During the ten years I lived in South Africa, I witnessed a different way of life – a culture and community who looked to friends and neighbors for material resources before rushing out to buy a brand new item.