Skiposium: On Gratification
We all got raises at the Broom Factory yesterday, either that or the minimum wage was raised again. Anyway, as the boys collected paychecks–now equivalent to what they were in December thanks to the payroll tax coming back–a discussion arose on the meaning of profit, and, ultimately, gratification. Here were some of the thoughts:
From Skipper Cameron:
Gratification as a single guy was much more instant than after I said, “I do.” If I wanted five Sonic cheeseburgers for five dollars, I could be off in less than two minutes. Since my wedding, I have learned that slow and marinated gratification, the kind that allows my wife to have as equal an input in a decision as mine, takes a lot more time but is richly rewarding. Seeing the gratification in the eyes of those we love is worth it, even if it might take longer than two minutes.
From Skipper Reneau:
Frittering away time, money, and talent is like a drug: with it comes instant gratification of one sort or another, but it will never be fulfilling
. Meaningfully being part of the communities from which adolescent bachelorhood steals us — what Edmund Burke (more Burke here
) referred to as “little platoons” — families, churches, civic organizations, career-focused jobs, etc., actually reaps benefits for larger communities and our whole society. For it is through these smaller communities where we learn things like virtue, responsibility, sacrificial love, calling, and skill that help build civil societies.
The Elks Lodge: a “little platoon” for all those zany old guys.
From Skipper Lacy (offering the helpful non-married-still-skipping perspective):
When I’m trying to feel good it feels good. Whether it’s binging on food or alcohol or caffeine or sex (lustfully) it feels so damn good to give in and do what I want to do, carpe diem baby. But given my upbringing I usually feel guilty the next day or right after I left myself go. . .Doing the responsible thing is so much harder in the moment but is so much more gratifying in the long run if you know what I mean. And believe it or not, I am definitely more of the moment kind of guy, without thinking in the long run, a stomach and “loins” thinker, but the way to grow, and to fill your soul, is to 90% take the responsible route and take that reviving gratification!
Sweet, sweet revival.
From Skipper Armstrong:
Need for gratification used to be something that I could generally control pretty well, because I’d want to fill my desires with food or trinkets or fun; since none of these are really core values for me, I didn’t mind ignoring them too much. However, one thing I can’t control well is my need to see my wife happy. If she’s not, I switch into instant gratification mode, and I get angry and troublesome. So, for me, it’s harder as a married man, because what gratifies me is somewhat rooted in my values.
“And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely his greatness is a-ripening, [a frost] nips his roots, and then he falls as I do.” -From Shakespeare’s Henry VIII
From Skipper Redmond:
One thing that I find gratifying as a married man is being “tied down.” Entering into marriage while in college as well as still being a teenager, this was one of my bigger fears; losing what most would consider the wild, fun years as far as relationships go. I wouldn’t be able to go out with other girls, stay out late partying, hanging with the guys late on the weekends. What I found was that rather than missing out on life, I was able to enjoy the stability of having someone who cares for me and loves me unconditionally as a spouse. What I thought would be a negative, actually turned out to be very positive for me, even at 19.
In the Civil War, drunken soldiers were tied up for disorderly conduct. They, too, were better off tied than loose.