The day that half our country fears, and half our country awaits with anticipation, Black Friday, recently passed. With horror stories of people getting trampled, shot, and stabbed in the nearby Walmart with the “deals of the century,” my Black Friday experience spoke to the contrary of popular belief.
I woke up at 3:00 in the morning, arrived at the mall at 4:00, much to my surprise finding not a single soul in sight. Confused, and checking my phone to make sure I had come on the right day, I kept walking through the empty mall. I entered the first store, sure that everybody was inside the stores if not outside, and found a cashier trying not to fall asleep by the register.
While my Black Friday experience not exactly what I was expecting, I still fell under the spell that I’m sure millions of other American citizens (who did experience the life-threatening morning) did.
This spell? Impulse.
Instant gratification is great. I don’t like waiting for things. If I can get something, or feel something that I want, I want it immediately. I’m not alone. I know that. I recently watched this video called the Marshmallow Test, which shows little kids have to wait to eat a marshmallow, postponing instant gratification, and preventing impulse.
Now the question is: does waiting make the end better and more satisfying? Or are we all suckers to impulse?
Shakespeare’s Hamlet would protest the fact that we are all suckers to impulse. He is the master of distinction between thought and action. In his famous “To be, or not to be” speech, he struggles with the uncertainty—the afterlife, the suffering of existence, everything that makes action nearly impossible.
I, however, am unfortunately not a product of Shakespeare’s writing, and sometimes give in to impulses. Which is why, now seeing the sales on Cyber Monday, regret some of my purchases from Black Friday. If only I had waited…