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Be thankful, avoid extremes!

November 29, 2011

Fun or fanatic?

While I stay away from the madness that is Black Friday, I caught a glimpse of what was to come as I grabbed some last-minute items at Walmart that I needed for Thanksgiving lunch.

As I walked through the aisles I was amazed at the scurry of activity as employees prepared for the big sale later on that night. It made me think about the polar opposites of being thankful for our simple blessings one day, followed by crazy greedy consumerism the next.

While I am all for bargain shopping, it seems to me that Black Friday has gotten completely out of control. Did you read about the two women injured and a man arrested after a fight broke out at an upstate New York Walmart jewelry counter? How about the grandfather who was taken to the ground by police after he allegedly put a game in his waistband so he could lift his grandson out of the massive crowd?

Then there is this year’s champion for Black Friday insanity — about a dozen people injured after a woman pepper sprayed them in a Los Angeles-area Walmart.  Apparently she used it in self-defense for fear of being trampled.

I could go on about the evils of Black Friday, but I can see a little good in it as well. For some, it is a chance to find great gifts that a person may not be able to afford at regular price. For others, it is a family tradition; a great bonding time to brave the crowds and chilly temperatures together. Some just like to shop and figure the more, the merrier. If the madness is something you enjoy, and you are aware of the potential dangers, then I say go for it.

This being said, it is important to remember our blessings and be happy with what we have. When you see all the advertisements in the newspaper and on television or hear about something a friend or family member recently bought, it can be easy to have that feeling of want. If you need to be reminded of how fortunate you are, try the following:

• Write a gratitude list. When you are starting to feel a little bit of envy or jealously, take out a sheet of paper and jot down 10 things for which you are thankful. This can range from your health to your family to an item you may already own or even the ability to purchase it if you really wanted.

• Research some charities and find one that interests you. Consider making a donation if you are able. Your money will go so much further with a charitable organization than with most items you can purchase this holiday season. With our full bellies after this past weekend, think about those who do not have anything to eat. An estimated 30,000 children have died this year in the Horn of Africa, and close to 13 million people are at risk of starvation in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya.

As you go through this season with its extremes, take time to be thankful — and please, put away the pepper spray.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. meghan permalink
    November 29, 2011 9:18 pm

    Nice, I like the gratitude list 🙂

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