Monday, December 04, 2006

Instant Gratification

I'm feeling tiered. Stayed up late doing some writing and in between the sleepy mode, my thoughts are heading back to a topic that I posted in this blog from George Soros. The question is, are we a "Feel Good" society that depends on instant gratification to such an extent that we forget some of the more important things in life?

I for one, do believe that I'd rather be a "Feel Good" person than a "Feel Rotten" person. Going through shit is an experience that's no fun except after you've gone through it and you can brag about it to your friends. I think most of us aknowledge that going through crap makes us stronger for it but at the same time, we try to make sure that our loved ones never go through the experience of poverty and depravation. I take my own Dad as an example. He grew up in a poor family and talked about it as if it was something that made him a better person. However, he made darn sure that neither Max or I had to go hungry (say I who is 90 plus KG).

What I do feel is this, the "Feel Good" factor in life is being solved by the need for "Instant Fixes" and that is something that is a little worrying. It's like, wanting a cafine fix but being too lazy to make a good cup of coffee, we live on three-in-one mixes. I have nothing against three-in-one mixes as a drink but these mixes cannot count as serious coffee.

Instant coffee may sound like a minor thing to quibble over but when the desire for all things instant comes to the realm of God and Money, thing s become worrying.

Take a look at Fundimentalist religion. You have Pastors and other forms of Charlatans preaching "Instant Answers" to life's problems and a flock of supposedly intelligent and educated people following them like sheep to the slaughter. Whenever I think of Fundimentalist religion, I think of Elim Church (Gina's Church), lead by the Pastor Fred. Fred, an American in his 70s preached a form of Christianity that I barely recognised in spite of having taken Christian Theology for A-levels and trying to get into Oxbridge to study it.

In the services that I attended, there was very little call to think about passages from the Bible. It was a case of - here is the passage, this is what it means and after you babble in tounges, all your worries will go away. Fred had a one line answer to solve everything - Get Your Life Sorted with Jesus. This was the answer he gave to me when Gina brought him into the picture to try to turn our non-existent marriage into some miracle of happy, happy choy choy. I'm sure this is the answer he gave to his entire flock whenever they approached him. - What he conveniently left out after his "Get Your Life Sorted with Jesus" speech and "Come give me a hug," after he had babbled in tounges was the fact that you had the option of paying

  • $100,000
  • $10,000
  • $1,000

towards his wife's car (to do God's work ofcourse) and to ensure that his Church, located on a nice piece of real-estate could have more lifts.

Of course when it came to offering money and effort to REAL charity like towards the victims of the Tsunami in Ache - his followers like my beloved ex-wife proudly announced that he and his fellow church leaders had visions of how the Almighty had decided to send the Tsunami because the people of Indonesia and Thailand sined and sined and would not let him to talk to them and even though Jesus wept and pleaded with the Father, the Father believed it was necessary.

I think Gina was desparate to get back together after I took out the Personal Protection Order against her and listened to this Charlatan. Fred offered an Instant Fix to her for our failed marriage and she feel hook line and sinker for his scam. Whatever she saw in his message, I plainly failed to see - The Christ I had read about was not into mass murder and did not need agents on earth to collect a portion of my hard earned money to build bigger and better buildings for themselves. Anyone who's seen Mel Gibson's "Passion of Christ," realises that Christ is a God who has suffered as any human and he lives through the disabled, wounded, poor and diseased. Spiritual enlightenment takes time - not instant fixes offered by someone who needs three halls in Suntec to be filled up.

Then there's "Instant Wealth." OK, I don't believe you necessarily need to work your guts out into your seventies to accumiliate wealth. The Dot Com billionaires had a good idea and caught the market trends at the right time. But by and large, wealth comes to those who are willing to go on the long path.

One person who I've encountered who lives off this desire for "Instant Wealth" is Roger Hamilton. I once went to his "Breakfast Meetings." The man spoke well but somehow I felt there was something suspicious about what he was offering - "Join me for USD5000 and I'll hook you up to my network of multi-billionaires." Once again, if Mr Hamilton claimed to know so many rich and influential people, he clearly wouldn't be selling his access to them!

To be fair to Mr Hamilton, he is probably going to be a gazillionaire before his 40th birthday. People seem to be believe his scam, though I recently encountered a group of agrieved life memebers. Mr Hamilton sells "Make Believe" wealth secrets and the sooner people see that the better we shall all be.

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