Instant Gratification by Nancy Brophy

Look around at the world. Marvel at your ability to communicate – your ability to create. Because it is truly a fluke that humans are at the top of the food chain. In ancient times visualize the animals discussing their dinner plans. The lioness no doubt pointed man out to the cubs. “Easy pickings. Not particularly fast, soft skin, no armor, no body hair, no claws and the fresh ones are squishy on the inside.”

How did the defenseless early human thrive? In a land of survival of the fittest, humans did not possess the optimal body design. Conventional wisdom would have pegged him as the long shot in the continued-existence game.

Last night I watched a NOVA program on the public broadcast station. One of man’s saving graces is his ability to sweat. So before his brain was big enough to conceptualize fire or weapons, he had the ability to run long distances. He learned to run the animals to the ground, never letting them cool down by stopping to pant. When they reached exhaustion, he and his tribe were able to get close enough for the kill.

By this technique he ate protein, which spurred brain development and problem solving. This did not occur in one generation or two. This evolved over centuries.

Centuries? Who has that kind of time?

My point is this. I am not good at the journey. I seek the destination, refusing to wait 6 months or 5 years. I have no patience.

Which is why I will never plant olive trees, which take years to bear fruit and probably why I chose self-publishing.

My philosophy is that I can save time or money, but rarely can I save both. In the debate between the two, time always wins. Every day I pack my schedule. As though getting from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds will somehow improve the quality of my life. What if I run out of minutes in the day?

Submitting my manuscript to an editor who might take 6 months to get back to me, followed by rewriting and resubmitting, then pacing myself for another 18 months to see my book in print just isn’t possible.

I am a product of instant gratification. I am grateful to my forefathers, whose focus was on survival, but I can’t imagine living my life based on worrying about my next meal or what can I do to get out of the rain?

I love spending my day being creative. I love crafting words and stringing a subject and verb together to make a sentence. (Cleverly, I don’t include a subject and verb in every sentence – that would be too repetitious.)

Personally, I would also like to thank the lions who skipped eating my ancestors for dinner and those guys who learned to run really fast. As a result I, too, get to run really fast. I just get there in my mind.


Posted on September 2, 2011, in General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Beautiful lion picture with all the blend of wise thoughts as well.
    Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.


  2. Ha ha, Nancy! Very amusing but very true. More and more, I find I’m impatient about waiting for Legacy publishers to see my worth and get that much closer to self-published. Luckily, though, I have two small press publishers who get me and I love writing for. I think that’s the only thing keeping me sane right now.


  3. I’m done writing for the day, so decided to stop by before totally calling it quits. I have to say your description of the lions deciding on dinner took me back a few years 🙂


  4. So glad that we have more to worry about nowadays than being eaten by Lions. However, that might be a better excuse for why I’m not writing right now.


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