Talking with a friend this week about the fallout associated with poor decisions, I came to this realization: saving for or borrowing against our future, does not just have to do with our finances.
My friend is going through a particularly painful time in his life, which without going into detail, is the culmination of years of poor decisions and less than adequate communication. As we talked, I began to think about all the various applications of this reality: if we ignore our health and avoid any sort of exercise while eating whatever we want, we are borrowing against our future health; if we pursue leisure and comfort we not only blind ourselves to the joy and necessity of work–whether vocational or domestic–but we so skew our perception of life that we grow numb or blind to the true needs of those around us; if our efforts are to “keep up with the Jones” by filling our homes with the latest in technology or fashion, we distort our self-perception and devalue our true self worth; if the pleasures and sensuality of the moment are a bigger priority to us than our spouse–whether we are currently married or not–we are in essence filing a lien against our marriage, thereby limiting the level of trust and intimacy we are able to experience until the matter is properly resolved; or if we allow attitudes, such as pride or anger, to have complete reign over our us, we become increasingly isolated until we find ourselves completely alone living in a form of self-imposed exile.
Much like the fiscal cliff we hear about constantly in the news these days, we either invest for or borrow against the future. While delaying gratification denies us the satisfaction of the moment, it affords us, not only future joy, but lasting peace.