I recently heard a story on NPR where the commentators wondered how this pandemic will affect the yearly shopping event known as Black Friday. Black Friday: a day when frenzied shoppers push their way into stores, often trampling each other in their rush to the bargains. They greedily grab sale items and throw them into their carts before anyone else can claim them. While I can understand the need for affordable merchandise when it comes to holiday shopping, we really need to step back and ask the question, “What are we doing to ourselves?”
Our society, our culture, our habits could use a serious reset.
Think about it. Our adult children and especially our grandchildren are caught up in a dysfunctional social construct unlike anything we’ve ever known. They communicate with their thumbs, play online games for hours, post seductive selfies of success and beauty on social media. They are growing up in a country where school shootings are a real threat, scandals happen everyday, and we’ve become desensitized to all the political and interpersonal lies occurring on a daily basis. Is it any wonder that our children’s value systems are a bit skewed?
We’ve lost our dignity, our integrity, and humility. We no longer value the concept of virtue: doing good, being good to ourselves and others, insisting that we act from a place inside ourselves that is loving and kindhearted. This mindset would help create, at long last, a heaven here on earth instead of a hell.
We need to find a more evolved way. Many of us need to ask more of ourselves – more thoughtfulness, more kindness, more loving support of ourselves and others. We’re sinking under the smothering, life- diminishing, joy-killing weight of cruelty, dishonesty and selfishness.
We must get out from under by insisting on being honest with ourselves and others. We must practice loving kindness, generosity, understanding, gratitude, patience, forgiveness, humility and virtue. Of course, this also means finding ways to hold our healthy boundaries when necessary and not condoning bad behavior.
We’ve lost our way. Our adult children have lost their way. Our society has lost its way. We need to take sure steps forward, out of this nightmare of discord, fear and hatred to the clearing, to the safe place where we can breathe again, with love in our hearts for all.
If you choose to go shopping on Black Friday, let others beat you to the bargain tables. There’s enough to go around and if you can’t have a certain item, there will be something else instead. Maybe even better.