The definition of a Jerk

The one difference between a child and an adult is the latter's ability to delay gratification. For children, delaying gratification doesn't come easy. Their demands are the 'right now' kind. It's natural kids do that because they are obsessed with themselves. It takes time for them to realise there's others in the world, that those others matter.

The funny thing is, there's enough adults out there who haven't grown out of being kids. Like children, they too are self-obsessed. The difference is, their behaviour makes them jerks while children at their age are tolerable. Self-obsessed adults are easy to spot. They are the insensitive louts we put up with.

A focus on the self erodes our ability to delay gratification. Which is good news to marketers, for it hastens a sale. Marketers on their part do everything to lure consumers by giving them umpteen reasons on why gratification needn't be delayed. For example, EMI payments, a 'limited period offer' are all tactics to prompt imminent gratification.

The next time you think you really can't live without something, and that's a product or service, know two things. One, you are getting to being obsessed with yourself. Two, you're taking a road that's eroding your ability to limit yourself. I guess as a society we can put with either.

Its when you cross that line and turn into jerk that society begins to lose. Here's hoping it doesn't come to that.


Mike said…
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