The "I want it now" syndrome

  • 10 July 2018
  • jewishfamily

In past generations people had patience. They had no choice. They had to work hard, cut wood to make fire so they had eat, grind wheat to make flour so they could bake bread, stand in long lines to get their food rations filled etc. etc.  People suffered a lot and had no options to even defend themselves. They learned to suffer patiently.

But our generation has things very different. Everything is “instant”.  Instant foods, frozen foods, canned foods, ready made breads, electricity for instant heat or air conditioning, restaurants of instant fast foods, and of course instant communication via cell phones, latest technology etc.

So you might wonder: what is wrong with that?

Well, there are obviously benefits to having things easier and faster.

I remember when I was younger my husband and I took a trip to Israel. In those days there were no cell phones, no wattsup or face time or even skype. There was no way to call home to check on the kids unless we paid a lot of money in a phone  booth. My husband did not want to pay that kind of money and so we spent an entire week not sure how our kids were doing. Needless to say I was worried and stressed and did not fully enjoy my trip. How I would have loved having a cell phone back then and instant messaging!

But the problem with our “instant” society is an attitude that has developed, especially among our youth:

The “I want it now” attitude.

Nobody has patience. People want everything immediately. Immediate food, immediate shidduch, immediate job, immediate pleasure….whatever the person wants they feel entitled to have and they have no patience to wait. And if the person does not receive what they want NOW, they become disillusioned quickly, angry at G-d, frustrated and upset.

So the problem is a lack of faith. A lack of understanding and patience. A lack of trust in G-d.

It behooves each of us, as parents, to train our children to be patient, to appreciate what they are given and not to expect that they must have whatever they want.

It is okay to say no to your kids. It is okay not to provide them with everything they ask for.
It is not only okay, it is actually beneficial!

Then the child learns they are not entitled to everything they want. They don’t have to have what they want that second. And G-d chooses to give a person what He wants to at the right timing.

The I want it now attitude brings people to become selfish, impatient and even nasty.

Much of the crime in today’s society is because people want whatever they want NOW. They don’t feel they  need to wait. They don’t even understand morality in many cases.   

So we definitely need to train our children and ourselves to wait, to be patient and to be grateful. You may want it now, but be happy if you get it later.  What you want and what you receive can be different, and that is fine. The main thing is to do what is right in life and to pray for what we want but to realize Hashem knows what is best.

 BUT , on a more positive note, there is one situation in life where we are entitled to have the “I want it now attitude. The Lubavitcher Rebbe himself started that campaign and perhaps this is why our generation is the I want it now generation.  The Rebbe said we want Moshiach now, and we don’t want to wait. And that is something we definitely have a right to push for and be impatient for and not accept any lack of receiving what we want. We NEED Moshiach now! We have to demand Moshiach. That is the area we can be pushy and demanding in and in fact must be.

So let’s turn the “I want it now” attitude into a holy pursuit: “I want Moshiach now”. Every negative situation can be changed and used for good and this is a perfect example. 

And as we are in the three weeks, when the focus is on the third beit hamikdash and the coming of Moshiach, it is certainly appropriate to learn about Moshiach and to beg Hashem to send us Moshiach . May it be immediately now!