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Perhaps you have seen the car insurance commercial in which the representative pitches a sale for insurance that even a college student on a “Ramen noodles every night budget” could afford. As a college student, I have certainly learned that a box of Ramen noodles is a cost effective solution to one’s late night case of the munchies. Not only are they cost efficient, they are also time efficient. The warm bowl of noodles can be made in less than three minutes.
So, what does my midnight snack have to do with politics? Let me take a moment to introduce a new concept: the Ramen noodle society. Last week I was privileged to have a conversation with a dear friend about our experiences in mission work overseas and the conditions in which so many people live. We talked about how life in America compares to the overly simple lives that those in third world countries live and the “instant” society that we have become.
Generally speaking, we Americans take so much for granted. We expect things to happen at the snap of our fingers and become distraught when things do not go our way. Life throws problems at us constantly and too often we choose to run rather than facing them. If a problem cannot be solved in the time required for a bowl of Ramen noodles, we give up.
It is critical, for our success as a nation, to abandon this sense of instant gratification. Short-term thinking only kicks the can down the road. A problem may be solved temporarily, but that same problem will inevitably return as time progresses. Long-term thinking is how problems are solved effectively. Long-term thinking is what my generation depends on if we have any hope of inheriting an America as great as history portrays.
Washington cannot seem to grasp this concept. Currently, our fearless leaders are “dealing” with our nation’s budget crisis. You may recall the Sequester spending cuts that went into effect in March of this year. These cuts inflicted financial pain on some Americans and we should not diminish that. Cuts, however, are necessary. When we begin to think in the long term, sacrifices are unavoidable.
The mess we find ourselves in has been brewing for several years now and is reaching inaccessible heights. A series of short-term thinking to provide for instant gratification has led us to a brick wall. If we plow through, the wall will collapse and crush us underneath it. The wall is too tall to scale so we are left with one option…charting a new course.
While Ramen noodles are great to have on occasion, a nice dish of country fried steak is even better. Country fried steak takes time to make. Unlike the bowl of noodles we college students hail as gourmet cooking, the meat is far more satisfying. Also unlike the noodles, country fried steak takes preparation and patience before it can be enjoyed. Time and planning yields a better product than rushing decisions without thinking them through. It is up to us to choose the country fried steak over the Ramen noodles. History will reflect our decision.