Lust for stuff!

Pushing, kicking, hitting!  Spitting, shoving, shooting!  Welcome to Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the great U.S. of A.
From the news reports, you would have thought that these scenes were of thirsty, starving people fighting for a drop of water or a few morsels of food.  You would have thought it was a pack of wolves in the high Arctic fighting over a single caribou carcass.
But, alas, it was just first-world Americans, with already too much stuff, fighting and grabbing for even more stuff!
Canadians can be thankful that our Thanksgiving is in October and hasn’t been totally co-opted by retailers.  But the attempt to make Black Friday a staple in Canada is concerning.  Unlike the United States, Black Friday is not a Canadian holiday.  To take advantage, Canadian workers have to skip work, college students need to cut classes and some parents even pull grade school children out to go shopping!!
In the United States ‘Black Friday’ should probably more appropriately be called Red Friday.  That’s when people pull out their credit cards and go deeper in debt for more stuff.  It’s when blood flows red as people punch and scratch fellow shoppers.  It’s when too many shoppers see “red”!
It could also be labelled a Black day, not because retailers move into the black side of the ledger.  It’s black and disturbing to see what happens to society when materialism becomes the new god.
The lust for stuff has outweighed civility and common decency in the United States. Canadians like deals, too, but to date are adverse to boorish behavior. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what we have.
Christmas is about giving and being grateful for what we receive.
As we move away from the craziness of American Thanksgiving and into the Christmas season, let’s remind ourselves of the wisdom found in the words of Fred De Witt Van Amburgh, American author and publisher.
“None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.”

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