Ponderings: Pleasure vs Gratification

Because I like him so much and especially because I loved his post on Facebook tonight, I dedicate this post to my cousin Ben. He wrote the following on his wall:

“An important distinction to make, in my view, is between momentary pleasure and sustained gratification.Pleasure is easy.You can find it, or create it, on a whim.A chemical reaction, it has less to do with who you are than what you are; a human animal.Sustained gratification is the result of addressing a problem and finding its best solution or identifying a need and fulfilling it to its most satisfying conclusion.
1.Pleasure is scratching your scabies,gratification is a bottle of lyndane.
2.Pleasure is out-runniing the cops,gratification is being the guy who built the car.
3.Pleasure is taking a girl home from the bar.Gratification is knowing you have a woman at home waiting for you.”

I like the way he puts this. I actually added a number 4 via a comment:

4. Pleasure is the act of copulation. Gratification is the joy of watching the kids that result from it as they are growing up.

I think that we are clearly in a hedonistic culture that values pleasure and perhaps gratification is downplayed a bit. Pleasure is definitely time-limited (well unless you are on acid or shrooms or a meth-head), whereas it is not a means in and of itself. I think that one should seek happiness, but as Ben says above – in a sustainable way. I would add that pleasure should not denigrate others, make them uncomfortable, or be unsafe for oneself and those around one.

In any case, thanks Ben for the thought-provoking post tonight 🙂


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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One Response to Ponderings: Pleasure vs Gratification

  1. Pingback: Just some random thoughts to ponder on. | One Lifetime

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