As many of you know, I have a very anti-black Friday stance. I have a numbers of reasons for this, but the primary ones are its effects on family time, and consumerism.
I have a problem with people skipping a great Thanksgiving meal with their family in order to camp in a tent in front of some of the major big box stores.
I have a problem with store employees and shoppers getting trampled by a mob of people who think they are getting a deal on an electronic device. I also have a problem with so many people spending as much money as they do on things they can’t afford.
It’s None Of My Business
I know, a lot of people might say “what people choose to do is none of your business.” To an extent, I agree, but it seems to me that self-control is a skill that is rapidly being lost in our country, so if I have to take the unpopular stance and point out the moral deficiencies of eating a Thanksgiving dinner in a tent so you can get an iPad discount, then so be it.
It also may not be any of my business to coach people on trampling an employee to death because we have such a self-centered worldview that we can’t bear someone in front of us getting the last tablet PC. I suppose it is also none of my business to point out how ridiculous it is for people to engage in fist fights with one another because their kid needs “My Keepon” more than your kid.
Black Friday: Pinnacle of Consumerism?
The pinnacle of consumerism, and not-so coincidentally, the lowest point of our humanity comes when we are so self-centered that we hurt (willingly or not) someone else just so we can obtain a piece of mass manufactured plastic; when we place a higher value on a $10 or $20 dollar savings over the life, and safety of those standing in line with us.
I know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of peaceful Black Friday gatherings, but I’ve seen enough locally to understand how quickly they can go awry. If you think I’m embellishing, then just search Youtube for “Black Friday Fights” (I’m sure these are graphic, so you’ve been warned), and you can see how truly common they are.
Forgive My Black Friday Cynicism
I’m not trying to be a Negative Nancy here, but I also don’t think that I’m saying anything too controversial. I can’t imagine that anyone reading this thinks that skipping a Thanksgiving dinner to stand in line is a good thing. I’m just calling a spade, a spade. Christmas shopping has been bringing out the worst in people for years, and I doubt that it will change.
I hope that people can get back to a time where being with family was what truly matters. I would love to see a day where people truly valued each others safety just as much as their own. I would also love to see a day where children who ordinarily throw fits over the lack of toys they got this year, instead give toys to others who may not been as fortunate as them.
Let’s Make Black Friday Resolutions
This year, if you will be standing in line, make a resolution to watch out for other peoples’ safety. This year, if your hand lands on the last of an item at the same time as someone else, let them have it. This year, if you see two people fighting over an item that you happen to have, give yours to the person who is without.
That person may not “deserve” it, but who really “deserves” it? Do you “deserve” the item because you got it early? I’ll tell you this right now, the gratitude you receive from the person you give your item to will be so much more than you ever could have imagined. You will have earned this gratitude. Make the world into the world you want it to be. If you don’t make it happen, no one else will.