Money and Hybrid Vigor

B and I obviously are on the same page with this financial stuff. Here is another story about my generation, which has more debt than any generation prior. We have been talking a lot on this blog about future money (or the lack there of), and this story is cut from the same fabric. Three posts (and probably many more); thrice the importance.

The story asserts that “this is the first generation who won’t necessarily do better than their parents.” That may or may not be true. Hybrid vigor is the rule, not the exception, or at least it has been up to this point. There are very few, very possible reasons that this trend could be discontinued:

1. The offspring of the previous generation are lazy and rest on the laurels of their parents
2. The progeny of the previous generation tries something new and fails (elimination by evolution)
3. There is no next generation

How does this apply to us? Are we lazy? Are we dommed to failure and elimination? Do we even exist? Don’t know a definitive answer to these questions, except maybe the third one. But I do know that this selfish generation is on a decent looking path towards #2. The problem with instant gratification is its tunnel vision. If you are ridiculously concerned with right now, you have no concept of building on the past and preparing for the future. I am not saying that the present is unimportant, but I am saying this:

If you had a choice between feeling good now or feeling good in a year, which would you choose? If you had a choice of having money now or having money in 10 years, which would you choose?

Instant gratification is gratifying. Delayed gratification is gratifying. Pardon me for a moment, but let’s just be stupid about it. If the goal is gratification, then shouldn’t I be just as happy if I get it in 10 years? Shouldn’t I be willing to work now so that I can be happy in 10 years, even if that means I am [temporarily] less happy (NOT unhappy, less happy) right now? If that is the case, then I have no need to run up credit card debt to buy trash I can’t afford now or ever.

What’s more dangerous? Terrorism, Violent extremism, Me-ism? I think I have a definitive answer to that one.



About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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