I wonder if this is something we will ever get out of our systems, doing things I know aren’t good for us just because they feel right at that moment. I’m talking from the scale of indulging in that unneeded candy bar, to picking up the phone and calling someone that you know you shouldn’t. Society has groomed us to expect instant gratification. Text messages, video games, and credit cards teach us that what we want is often directly at our fingertips. However, unlike the reset button that pops up every time my Halo character is slain, or the Staples easy button that seems to make problems go away, life doesn’t readily react the way we expect it to.
There is a permanence to things that is not always under our control. Our scathing Facebook message cannot be unseen; we can’t undo screaming at our bosses and quitting to make a point; and going after the bad boy can end in trouble. At some point in our lives I believe everyone will do one if not many of these things. Not because we don’t understand the repercussions, not because we enjoy some good inner turmoil, it’s because in that moment we indulge, let go, or do something that feels right in that moment, we are happy. In the pursuit of happiness our judgment may be clouded as we aim for that instant gratification we’ve gotten so accustomed to. What we are left with in the end is having to pick up the pieces and assess the damage we may have done to others and/or ourselves and hopefully learn from the experience.
Now, not all impulse decisions or decisions driven by our wants have such treacherous outcomes. One candy bar is not the end of the world and friendships can be mended even if you post a rude comment on their wall when you were angry. The trouble comes when the things we choose to do that aren’t good for us stop seeming so bad. Our sense of self control, and morality shift, allowing ourselves excuses for more of these actions to take place. So how can we balance our desires with our needs and uncomplicate our lives? I think the truth is we can’t. We are complicated beings and often that is part of the charm of our multifaceted nature as humans. However, as long as we continue to challenge our choices and have those close to us hold us accountable, we can all afford to indulge every once in a while, right? By being conscious that not everything we will do will always be in our best interest, we accept that it is ok to make mistakes, try and fix it, and move on.