Generation N.O.W.

“Just write…” my blog prompts me, as it closes out every other window with blank white space, just waiting to be written in. In some ways, I begin to understand how an artist must feel prior to beginning a portrait; the realization that what they are able to do could one day be great. There’s usually a much greater probability the paint will spill where its not intended, and the artist will throw it away.

And so, here are a few words that came to me in the shower this morning.

Generation N.O.W.

By Aaron Plaat

“You deserve…” is a phrase our generation has adopted after enough paid advertising to make us believe it’s true. We live in a world that has embraced the now, while altogether rejecting it at the same time; periods of patience and anticipation have given way to instant gratification and satisfaction. And yet, these cheap, instant thrills do not provide us with the same long-term satisfaction and contentment we gain from doing things the right way. No HDR photograph will ever replace the majesty and grandeur of the view given those who climb to the top of a high mountain summit.

There was once a time where books were seen as something to be treasured, with knowledge and wisdom seen as a lifelong pursuit that was granted those who devoted their lives to pursuing it. SparkNotes has replaced our thirst for knowledge with a cheap replacement that will never fully satisfy. How one could shorten classical masterpieces with quick explanations is beyond me, much like somebody would be considered a fool for choosing cheap street meat over the rarest steak.

And how our friends have changed! There were once days where two men could be lifelong friends; close as brothers, without the societal eye whispering overtones of homosexuality. These days, David and Jonathan would be turned into a cheap reality show that would paint them as lovers, rather than as blood brothers. We’ve replaced quality friends with thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and Plenty of Fish.

Society has happily abandoned books and newspapers for the newest friend to be introduced to each and every household. This friend, spewing profanities, obscenities, violence, and loose sex into our eyes since a young age, has fondly been dubbed “television” and is gladly welcomed into the most prominent spots of every household. Family time has been replaced with prime time.

Many of these factors have led American culture into a position where it demands instant gratification for its needs. This familiarity with the convenience of instant gratification has actually led many to believe they are entitled to it; somehow elevated to a level far about the inferiors around them who, consequently, seem to think the same thing.

What we are left with is a mind set that has trained us to unjustly demand things, instantly, that were meant to take time. Even online dating has radically changed the way we view romance, love, and the pursuit of meeting another person; rather than love being something worthy of pursuing with great care and cost, it’s viewed as little more than a numbers game where odds and probability are more important than romance, heart, and faithfulness.

Life, love, friendship, and patience have taken a dive in lieu of instant gratification. Perhaps we have access to Google and libraries where we can instantly receive answers. Are we smarter than those who used to pore hundreds of hours searching through textbooks? Probably not. We are the only society I know of that can have two people sitting in the same room and not talk to each other, because they are busy texting, tweeting, or Facebooking.

There was once a poem written, titled “For Want of a Nail” and it goes as follows:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Perhaps we don’t have battlefields to fight on, or armor to polish. Maybe there are no longer kingdoms at war where a knight may right gallantly into battle….no matter. Small sacrifices lead to large catastrophes. Small risks lead to great victories.

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