The more I look around these days, the more confirmation I get that we have become a society of instant gratification. As a whole, people just don’t want to wait for anything anymore. I recently heard a story of a guy standing in his office break room next to the microwave oven telling it to hurry up. We want it now, and I mean right now! What has happened to us? How can a microwave take too long to heat food? Everywhere I look I hear about the amount of household dept we carry nationwide on average. Apparently we take loans for everything. The average indebted American household (people who don’t pay off credit cards each month) carries approximately $15,000 in consumer dept. I get the feeling we have collectively lost our willingness to work toward a long term goal. A simple example of this principle is buying something you can’t afford to buy now using credit. It’s great! You can have it right now and just pay for it monthly… This is both good and bad.
I had a conversation the other day with a fellow who was talking about the first motorcycle he bought. He bought it with money he’d saved by delivering news papers, he had a paper route when he was a kid. And he was so proud to tell me he worked and saved for two summers to get that bike. Granted the bike didn’t cost what today’s bike do, but he still set a goal, saved for it and paid for it with cash. What a novel idea.
I see a lot of bikes when I’m out and it never ceases to amaze me how many bikes are being ridden in such a horrible state of disrepair. It’s like there owners just don’t care. What has happened to pride of ownership? I’m thinking they don’t care. I’m also thinking if they had to work their butt off for two summers and save up to buy the thing they’d feel quite a bit differently. I mostly see this on street bikes, but I also see a fair amount of it on dirt bikes as well. For me the respect I have for something I’ve put an effort into is often far greater than something I have no skin in. I suppose making a monthly payment does require some degree of effort, you do have to work to earn the money to pay the bill. Somehow it’s not the same.
There are exceptions to this, one exception I have noticed is in vintage racers, both Off-Road and MXers alike take a great deal of pride in the appearance and maintenance of their bikes. This could be due to the age of the riders – older generation has a different work ethic than today’s generation, the age of their bikes, or a combination of both. It could be me, but I feel the older generation has a greater respect for the things they own. Maybe it’s because things didn’t come easy, or maybe it’s because they had to work for something before they got it.
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