Liberian Dilemma: Instant Gratification vs. Deferred Gratification

Liberian Dilemma: Instant Gratification vs. Deferred Gratification

The Editor,

I was once told “there were two men, one believed in instant gratification and the other believed in deferred gratification.

One preferred a low paying job  to have resources now. The other barely survived just to attend trade school and college to have a quality life later. 

Such is the difference between Liberia and America.

Having lived in America for many years, I have realized why the American economy and politics are such a rarity and evidently one to be admired.

The basic premise of the American experience is that preparation for the future by far exceeds the importance of short sighted gains.

Here in America goals are set in terms of decades in the future to assure the sustenance of a quality lifestyle that is unmatched in the Western World.

By contrast, Liberia lies in the realm of instant gratification and it emanates from selfishness, greed, and shortsightedness.

Recently, it was announced that Liberia is entering a partnership to export and exploit its rare forestry lumber to Ghana who have mismanaged their resources in the timber industry.

In short gains, Liberia will receive a steady income (instant gratification) that will expire in a few years when they will suffer from the effects of over exploitation of the forests: erosion, mudslides, species becoming extinct, pollution of the rivers, unemployment, depletion.

The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in damage.

The removal of trees without sufficient reforestation has resulted in habitat and diversity loss and aridity. It has adverse impacts on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Young Liberian gravitate towards government positions that guarantee easy access to public funds in a criminal manner rather than build businesses that could last a lifetime as opposed to working for the government which depends on the whim of a political leader.

These are two examples of how Liberians are investing in instant gratification without planning for the future. Remember the saying in introduction about instant gratification versus deferred gratification.

John Weah,
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