Friday, November 27, 2015

Making choices

So today is Black Friday. I don't pay any attention to it—and don't go anywhere near a store on this day. I think it would be lovely if we spent more time (perhaps the weekend?) living in that thankful state we experienced yesterday rather than rushing out to spend, spend, spend the very next day. And, actually in many cases, the consuming begins late in the day on Thanksgiving—taking retail employees away from their families.

As with so many things in life, however, this situation is nuanced and complex. I know that the extremely good deals that can be found on toys, electronics and clothes are helpful to many families who have little by way of discretionary funds for Christmas gifts. And a friend of mine told me that her son benefits greatly from the overtime pay he receives for working late in the day on Thanksgiving. (I wish it were a choice, but most employees have no choice in the matter.) So I know there's more to the story than my disgust at the marketing and consumerism I witness at this time of year.

Thanksgiving followed immediately by Black Friday (or Black Thursday Night!) is just another illustration to me of the mixed bag that is so much a part of our lives. There's a good side, and there's a bad side to so much of life. So perhaps what is called for more than anything is that we not judge each other for the choices we make. You get to decide what you do today. And I get to decide for myself. So Happy Black Friday to you!

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