In my last post the subject was gratitude and the holiday of Thanksgiving. Today, it’s the other side of that coin. In our world of duality, I guess that should come as no surprise to anyone.
Word is going around about this tweet which now has over 2000 forwards. It reads: “Black Friday: Only in America do people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”
Welcome to the other side of the coin.
From gratitude straight to greed. Now, I understand that being a world stamped with a dual nature everyone has the potential for both gratitude and greed within them. It’s just the rapidity with which the coin is flipped that leaves one a bit breathless. Really? In just one day? Yup – apparently so. Maybe it’s a sign of the times that such extremes can be bridged with such speed, a sign perhaps that psychosis has become more the norm than stability or sanity.
It’s true that not everyone, everywhere acts this way. But it does seem to be a behavior somewhat unique to my country. Sure, in Africa people may trample each other for food – people that are already starving. But in America people trample others to death for flat screen TVs and cellphones. It’s behavior that’s really hard to suss.
Part of the blame resides squarely on the retailers that have adopted this day as their biggest sale of the year. In that I can see more than a little malevolence and mockery. It’s not like the dichotomy has never occurred to them. That kind of proximity doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by intent. And the effects of that intent become manifest in stories like this. Do they get a devilish pleasure in seeing the ignorant, ego-driven masses fight over baubles? Instead of aiding to raise people up, they contrive to bring them low. Disgusting. Wake up Americans – you’re being degraded. Publicly. Wake up and locate your integrity, then cease partaking in this spectacle. I can dream, can’t I?
Perhaps it’s not a dream, not entirely. Mindfulness can be cultivated with care and persistence over time, and it can also strike suddenly. It’s my bet that more than one person shopping on that day woke up due to the base behavior transpiring around them. They woke up, felt instant revulsion, and ran away never to return to another Black Friday sale.
And why do you think they call it “Black” Friday? Because there is no light in it.