It feels a little sickening to recognize the glint of greed in shoppers’ eyes as they wait in line for seven, eight, even nine truly frigid hours to buy something they most likely do not truly need. That high definition, flat-screen plasma television that must occupy their living room. The slick computers and laptops that must adorn their desks. The cellphones, the iPods, the digital cameras. And it is not enough if they have just one. No, they must grab extra vouchers, extra tickets, extra coupons and purchase things separately. Not one, but two flat-screen plasma televisions.
It feels a little bit more sickening to recognize such feelings within yourself as you wait alongside the others, huddled in your own mass of blankets and burning coffee, counting down the hours until you can get your equally greedy paws on the things you think you truly need. That fantastic GPS system. A new DVD player.
And really, at unbeatable prices what does it matter if those that are employed in the retail industry have to be awake at one, two, three in the morning and trudge themselves off into work?
What does it matter if those police officers have to be parked outside the retail stores at the wee hours of the morning, mediating elementary squabbles regarding line cutting and cheating with tickets and vouchers? What does it matter if those firefighters have to be parked there as well, and make sure that the store does not overfill and cause fire hazards? Is that what their duties have come to?
Truth be told, it feels strange. My Hindu family does not partake in the traditional Thanksgiving celebrations, but I feel that the message is universal: to be consciously and deliberately thankful and grateful for all that you have and appreciate its worth.
Ironically, the very next day after Thanksgiving Day, this dreaded Black Friday, is our nation’s day to consume, to ask, to need for more.
The seemingly sincere sentiments of thanks were, after all, for the things we had yesterday.