If you watch the videos on YouTube, you’ll see parents going crazy on Black Friday, year after year. They’re shopping for sales at Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other stores but their behaviour is totally out of control.
They’re looking for deals on electronics and other goods to buy for their children, perhaps in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, but the scenes at these stores and in the parking lots are totally outrageous.
The unbecoming behaviour of these parents sends a terrible message to their kids who are led to believe that beating up strangers is acceptable behaviour when there’s a few bucks to be saved.
These parents forget that the holiday they’re taking advantage of is called Thanksgiving, and it’s supposed to have us reflecting on all the things we’re thankful for. It’s a holiday of gratitude and appreciation that’s being marred by the horrible behaviour of some Black Friday shoppers.
I find holidays and celebrations to be wonderful opportunities to pause and reflect. Thanksgiving in particular is a time to focus on all the things we’re grateful for, and the one thing I’m most grateful for is love.
I so appreciate the love of my family and friends. I feel so much love for these people, as well as for my pets, my patients, my community and my world. When I see people fighting over material goods, it saddens me deeply. These people have totally missed the point of the Thanksgiving holiday.
I suggest that this year, Black Friday shoppers try to remember the point of the holiday and practice politeness and courtesy toward their fellow shoppers. Perhaps the stores can also institute some new policies that might minimize the possibility of fighting?
Instead of being whipped into a violent frenzy by the prospect of huge bargains, shoppers this year might want to practice being mindful of their actions. They might work on being kind instead of greedy and patient instead of rapacious. They might try to turn the other cheek, rather than punch the other shopper in the face.
These violent shoppers are grown-ups who’ve descended into crazed, violent behaviour that demonstrates the worst within them. Can’t we instead encourage people to be their best selves on Black Friday and go to the stores with a different attitude – one of mutual respect and consideration?
Children look to their parents to set an example for how they’re supposed to behave. If this type of insanity occurs each Black Friday, we’re telling our kids that it’s simply a “normal” part of the Thanksgiving holiday season.
I, for one, reject that notion. Let’s bring back a kinder, gentler, more civilized Thanksgiving in which people demonstrate the best qualities within themselves.
Don’t forget, these crazed shoppers are in the oh-so fortunate position of having money to spend on nice things – something many people around the planet aren’t lucky enough to experience.
Let’s be grateful for everything we have, and let’s stop punching our way through the crowd to snatch up that wide-screen TV set.
All the material goods we consume will never match the value of our loving relationships, and isn’t that what we want to teach our kids? Don’t we want the lessons of this season to include appreciating the people in our lives, even if they happen to be strangers in a store, competing to purchase the same discounted electronics?
We always have a choice about whether to be our best or our worst selves. This Black Friday, let’s make the right choice and be kind, not crazy. Let’s be loving, not violent, and let’s do it for our own sake, for the sake of the strangers we’re shopping with and most of all, for the sake of our kids.
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