Tag Archives: Delaying gratification

Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy

This is the first of three posts about entitlement:
Today – “Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy”
07/19 – “How I became homeless”
07/26 – “When needs are met”

Let’s get rid of (the term) entitlements

“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”

It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy

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My prayer for myself today

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Sunday 2017-02-26

My prayer for myself today was that I “come into a world where my diligence will be rewarded.”  A related new concept, as far as the blog is concerned:  efficacy — the feeling or sense that one can accomplish something.  In question is whether I perceive my world that way now.

It is notable that a background of chaos militates against efficacy, and normally teaches that diligence will not be rewarded, except as it’s expressed in opportunism and predation (See “Can’t resist temptation? …” below.)  A background of, or perceptions of, order, in contrast, teach the exact opposites.

Related future posts (The links won’t work until the posts appear.):
About Edgar Cayce’s dream
Perceptions of order

Related previous post:
Chaos overwhelms the poor
Also related:
Can’t resist temptation? That may not be a bad thing

Chaos overwhelms the poor

(Originally posted 08/06/14.)

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading Chaos overwhelms the poor

A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY

(Originally posted 10/05/13.)

The Marshmallow Study Revisited

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer—12 versus three minutes—than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

The article explores the issues in some depth.

When you can’t get what you want

(Originally published July 5, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

There is a song from The Sound of Music that relates; it concludes, “… I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.”

Wednesday morning I stood outside McDonald’s having my last smoke before leaving.  I considered that as soon as I got to the library, I’d need to count my pennies and plan spending for the rest of the week.  I pondered whether or not to buy a soda on my way there.  I’d had some unusual spending earlier in the week, and faced some more unusual spending in connection with the 4th of July (The library’s closed.).  The wisdom of having bought or not bought a soda at this time would depend on the outcome of that planning.

Continue reading When you can’t get what you want

A simple lesson

(Originally posted June 22, 2013 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

My normal day runs as follows.  After breakfast at the mission, at 5:45 I head for McDonald’s, where I drink coffee ($1.06) and do my prayer routines.  Around 9:15, I head for the library, stopping at a convenience store en route to buy smokes ($2.75) and a soda ($1.69).  From 10:00 to 2:00 I’m online at the library.  When my time’s up, I go to the Wi-Fi café, write in my diary and have another cup of coffee ($1.00).  Then it’s back to the mission, where I have to pay admission ($3.00).

Sunday mornings, I am normally left with bus fare to church ($1.60) and pennies.  I meet my patrons at church and obtain an allowance for the next week.

Continue reading A simple lesson

* Chaos overwhelms the poor

Some weeks ago, I stood in line awaiting check-in at the shelter. This place charges $3 a night. I was holding my money in my hand, and someone playfully tugged at it. I snapped. I said, “You don’t value your life much, do you?”

Minutes later, I explained this to someone else. I said, “Don’t take a man’s last dollar.” “Why not?” he asked. I said, ” ‘Cause that’s the one he’ll die for. That’s the one he’ll kill for.”

Don’t take my last dollar. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

I’ve been on hard times since 2004. If I lose, or am robbed or cheated, of $20 or $50, that’s a pretty significant amount. But it doesn’t hurt all that much if I have more, and know more is coming. However, if I lose, or someone robs or cheats me of my last $1 — that’s the one that really hurts. That’s the one I’ll kill for.

These memories came to me as I reflected on Maggie Fox’s 08/29/2013 article, “Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds.”
Continue reading * Chaos overwhelms the poor

* Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy

This is the first of three posts about entitlement:
Today – “Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy”
04/26 – “How I became homeless”
05/03 – “When needs are met”

Let’s get rid of (the term) entitlements

“In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone represented 44 percent of spending; all entitlement programs were 63 percent. But it’s hard to control entitlement programs because their constituencies are so large.”

It makes sense to me that, as Samuelson proposes, we should discard the term “entitlements” as naming portions of the federal budget that are untouchable. No program should be sacrosanct.
Continue reading * Entitlement(s): Attitude and policy

* A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY

The Marshmallow Study Revisited

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer—12 versus three minutes—than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

The article explores the issues in some depth.

(Reblogged 09/22/16.)