Do you have patience? Can you do without for a while to ensure you get something much nicer later? After our previous move, we realized that we needed a kitchen table. We could have purchased a folding table and chairs for cheap, but my wife and I decided to save up our money each month and hold out for a nice table. After almost a year of saving, I wrote out a large check for a very nice hardwood table and six chairs. We could have had a table much sooner if we had been willing to settle for something cheaper in cost and quality, but we were patient.

When trying to teach the concept of delayed gratification to young kids, I offer them a choice: eat two cookies now, or get a big box of cookies in a few months. For some, the cookies in my hand are much easier to understand than the promise of many more at some distant time. But others, especially older children, are beginning to understand the benefits of patience. Adults demonstrate an understanding of delayed gratification with savings accounts, retirement funds and 401k accounts; you see it every time you hear someone say, “I gotta go to work. We need the money.”

How much are you willing to wait for something? I guess the answer depends on what you’re waiting for and how much you want it. I’m willing to wait a few minutes for my food at some fast-food place, but I wouldn’t wait half an hour. Yet I have no problem with waiting half an hour for my dinner at a nice restaurant. Usually, the bigger the payoff, the more I’m willing to wait. That seems to be common sense. But I have to wonder what sense House Democrats have when they narrowly pass a spending bill that would pull our troops out of Iraq by next year. By broadcasting their unwillingness to wait, they have let the militants in Iraq (and Iran) know that all they have to do is exercise a little more patience, and the U.S. troops will leave — in essence, handing over the reins of a newly-free country to terrorists and thugs.

For now, I give a hearty “thank you” to Speaker Pelosi and the other 217 craven members of the House for letting these murderous thugs know that all they need is a little patience.

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