Why I’ve decided to boycott Black Friday….or is it Black Thursday?
I’ve typically participated in the hysteria that is Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving). Now I wouldn’t go at midnight and wait in line for hours, but I would go at about 5-6am to various stores to get the best “deals.” I’d race to buy the “early bird” items. In recent weeks I’ve read that many stores are opening even earlier than last year. Target, Wal-Mart and others have decided to open their stores at 8pm. I have a problem with this decision.
I have a problem with forcing employees to work crazy hours because businesses want to pad the bottom line. I have a problem with putting people in danger when stampedes unfortunately occur upon a store opening. How many videos of people being trampled to death do we have to watch before we start to think hey maybe this isn’t a good idea after all? Is it really worth it? Is it really worth risking your life over a TV that you probably won’t be able to buy anyway? Is it really worth it to miss Thanksgiving day to wait in line for “great deals?”
I am definitely pro-business. Let me clear that I am not advocating boycotting shopping all together. I hope businesses do well this holiday season. I hope they use their profits to subsequently hire more employees. What I hope to inspire from this blog post is for the reader to internalize the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time meant to spend with one’s family. It is a time to be thankful for the blessings in our life. Yes, blessings might seem to be spare (especially nowadays) and oftentimes futures look bleak; but we truly are blessed that we are alive. That we have family. Friends. People that care for us. Now I find my family sometimes annoying. But really who doesn’t. It would be suspect to find a family that wasn’t a tad bit dysfunctional.
My Thanksgivings are pretty chaotic. Little kids running around. Brothers and sisters teasing one another. My mother spending all day preparing her scrumptious feast. Isn’t this what it is all about? Ask yourselves how many times do you truly spend time with your family? How many times do you truly spend time sitting down and having a substantive conversation with your family?
These are things that are forfeited when we succumb to the ad gimmicks from stores. We lose sight of the true meaning of Thanksgiving. The same thing happens during Christmas. We get so caught up in buying gifts for everyone that we don’t realize that the best gift someone could give another is their time. Be it to your family, to a soup kitchen or to the local food pantry. Another thing that bothers me is the name “Black Friday.” You can’t really call it that if you open on Thanksgiving. Is there anything that is sacred anymore?
So here is my suggestion. For those who like to go to stores and buy items wait until the next day or even that weekend. Chances are that you aren’t really missing out on any deals at all. If anything you are ahead of the game because you not only enjoyed your Thanksgiving, but are well rested. I’d suggest you shop online. Most stores offer the exact same sales online. Cyber Monday is always a good option.
So next week before you think about disrupting your family holiday, take a moment and think. Ask yourself this simple question.
Is it truly worth it?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate