How can I have my cake and eat two marshmallows later?

A man posts rage-bait on social media, admitting that he does it because it gets him more engagement than being authentic and kind. This is what I thought:

We are the same people now that we were as children, just in older bodies and with more words to express ourselves with. Do you want one marshmallow now, or two marshmallows later?

Cake and Marshmallows.png

It’s hard to quantify “later”. Is it near or far? Will we get something that satisfies our desires, or something that doesn’t even scratch the itch? What if the thing I get later isn’t actually enough for me? Won’t that mean I just wasted time waiting for it? I don’t want to waste time, I want what I want NOW.

Sacrificing long-term joy for temporary satisfaction, or, at least, the hope that we’ll be temporarily satisfied.

How many people sacrifice long-term joy because they can’t imagine what it’s like? If you’ve only ever experienced temporary satisfaction, and someone offers you long-term joy if you can wait for it, you are forced to do a mental comparison before you make the choice. How can that comparison ever be honest if you haven’t experienced both options?

We need to experience more in order to make better, more honest and informed decisions for ourselves. But, if we’re always in a hurry to experience more, more, more… then we are caught in the loop of always wanting one marshmallow now so we can experience it quickly before moving onto the next experience.

What’s the trick to this balancing act? The need to experience more to make better decisions, and the need to slow down and experience fewer but more fulfilling things? How can I have one marshmallow now and two marhsmallows later?

Balancing Cake and Marshmallows.png

How can I have cake in my fridge so I can enjoy it later, but also eat it right now? I want to save the cake to share with my friends, but I don’t know if it’s worth sharing with them if I don’t try it myself first.

Maybe it all comes down to luck. We get lucky when we’re younger if we can experience many things, and then we hope to live long enough to get a chance to use those experiences to have even better experiences later. We have to take a risk and hope that we make it that long. All bets are placed on us making it to the late game.

Maybe it all comes down to having a safety net, allowing us to have those experiences when we’re younger but protected enough to help us reach the later years. Some people have great safety nets, some people have none at all. I guess that’s Luck showing itself once again, because none of us decide the circumstances we’re born into.

And then what happens to those of us that manage to discover the best path forward? Do we pity those who have not? Do we interrupt their path because we think ours is superior and force them to join us? Do we just accept them for who they are and where they are and hope they find their own way somehow?

How can I know the answer to those questions if I don’t experience the possibilities? How do I experience the possibilities if I don’t hurt a few people along the way? Does the ends justify the means when it’s at the scale of a lifetime? Is it selfish of me to consider hurting others if it means I get to have two marshmallows later? Is this selfishness just a manifestation of me having one marshmallow now?

Eating Marshmallows.png

The music is playing. It’s thoughtful and pensive. It’s resonant. It makes my thoughts seem deeper than they really are. The real question is: Why are people jerks online? I guess I don’t know the answer.

Maybe I don’t want to know. Why else would I be using AI generated images in this post if I didn’t want to eat my marshmallow now?


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