Thursday, May 03, 2012

America and the Marshmallow Test

In this strange age which combines consumerism ("You must have this.") with instant credit ("You must have this now!") while mixing in doctrines of entitlement ("You deserve this.") and the vaunted promises of the Nanny State ("The government will give you whatever you want."), America has lost the key to genuine success; namely, the development of self-discipline.

In the video clip below (cute but profound), we see a re-creation of Walter Mischel's famous "Marshmallow Test," a remarkably clear example of how the ability to understand the value of "No" (that is, to delay gratification) creates incentive to save, to work hard, to curb strong desires, and to develop a sense of confidence, self-worth and independence.

Parents, you can change the world.