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The Instant Gratification Mentality: Are We Miseducating Our Children?

Although this article is predominantly geared toward the education of our children, I encourage you to read the following article with your business and your marketing efforts in mind. It’s important not to fixate on certain goals, but rather use your knowledge and power to center yourself and accomplish main goals through smaller ones. Good online marketing campaigns and web success takes time, money and a lot of effort. Do not despair, if at first you don’t succeed. – WST

By: Rajesh V

Do we teach the right things? I recall an old Tamil film called Kaliyuga Krishnan. The story was rather simple but very interesting. There is this impoverished man who keeps bemoaning his fate and cursing Krishna. One day Krishna appears before him and challenges him. The Divine One offers to give the man all the worldly success and material comforts he wishes for, but tells him that happiness would elude him anyway.

The man takes on the challenge and becomes very rich and successful. Krishna keeps appearing to check how happy he is with his acquisitions. The man insists that he is on top of the world in spite of the challenges.

Towards the end, the cycle changes and the man is down and popping a handful of pills when Krishna appears and asks him about his life. The man shows Krishna the pills and says that medicine is his food nowadays. Krishna then picks up the various medicines and reads out the names which all usually end as ‘mycin’ – Erthyromycin, Streptomycin and Tetramycin. He then says to the man: ” Oh, all MY SINS? You are only suffering for your sins!”

Interesting pun on words, but it holds a universal truth.

Today when I see the younger generation, they are in a hurry for instant gratification. Parents bemoan the fact that children are getting spoilt and losing traditional value systems. So, what exactly is the issue? The issue lies with parents like us more than elsewhere. Let us forget the parent child labelling and discuss this matter from an objective perspective.

Imagine a young infant, whose mind is fresh, open, curious, and creative. What kind of conditioning is the environment and people around him/her offering? It is all about pushing oneself for success. It is not about hard work or effort. It is about success. It is about a particular result.

The individual develops into a typical ‘A’ type personality, high strung, tense and stressed out. Then he or she seeks emotional well being and health by spending money on medicines and doctors. But the individual is simply treating the symptoms. The root of the problem lies somewhere else.

Finally as old age approaches, after a lifetime of chasing success, this person is advised to meditate, take things easy and reflect on life. Are we not completely confusing ourselves and others?

Recently I had a spirited debate about another Tamil film Naan Kadavul. The debate focused on the belief that people who regularly say ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ can become God. My argument was along similar lines. Imagine a child being told that he is God and nothing else. Would that mind ever question it? Would that mind get distracted by anything else?

God is within all of us. This is advocated in every religious scripture including the Hindu spiritual texts. Instead of seeking God and peace outside of us we are advised to look for the Source of Life within us.

Why then, do people still have an issue with following this simple doctrine?

It is simply because our minds are not conditioned as such from childhood. Even God has become a “utilitarian and quantifiable goal” in our never-ending pursuit of success. Some have even branded God on this basis. There is a Hanuman temple in Chennai which is called “Bank Anjaneyar” as it is situated in the premises of a bank. It is also known as “Visa Anjaneyar!” Supposedly a visit is guaranteed to ensure a visa!

Some might argue that I am propagating laziness and suggesting that we should not be result-oriented. But that’s not the case. I believe that there is a very fine line between result-orientation and result-fixation.

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