I reworked a piece I wrote at this time last year. It’s about what really matters if we are to really matter. Hope it doesn’t come across too preachy. Life is short. Love hard and Happy Thanksgiving.
Black Friday. They certainly got the name right because its appeal is to our darker angels. The toys and gadgets we buy are only stuff and stuff does not last. Possessions can not mend the troubled heart. Are Americans that bored and desperate for amusement? Yes, many are. Some are obsessed by the chase for a deal. Will the latest toy or the thrill of the deal really make us happy? In our hearts we know the truth. In the end, all is dust.
Black Friday fever isn’t just a one day event. Not any more. It has become a state of mind. It is materialism gone hyper. What is it doing to our civil society? How is it possible a country so blessed can miss all those fine things laid upon our table? Our friends, our family, our free country…these are the finest things in life and they can never be purchased.
Our stuff distracts us from reality and too often from our finest things. Our gadgets amuse us. They do not fulfil us or answer why we are here. What exactly is on the other side of the other side? Put down your iPad long enough to admit you do not have the answer. Who does? It aint Apple or Sony nor the Ginzu knife peddler.
The chronic concern with our own amusement is all the worse in the face of current events. We are a country at war abroad. There’s a war of sorts at home too, one that will determine whether the Constitution really means anything or is it just a quaint dead letter? Surely such things matter much more than saving $50 at your favorite super box.
Those people on the street interviews (you’ve heard them on Hannity and elsewhere) are pretty scary. The corner hipsters know little and too much that matters not at all. Lady Ga-Ga? Really? They live for moment and personal amusement. They will run over you at Best Buy too, if the latest Apple whatever is on sale. If only it was just “them”, the undone people acting in this way, but it is our friends and neighbors too. It is those who were never taught better and those who know better but can’t stop themselves. Don’t let it be you. Somebody taught you, right?
You can overcome boredom and the desire for desires. Having real friends and caring about them and talking to them face to face is good for us. Political activism and community involvement give a purpose to one’s life far more meaningful than the latest app for the iPhone. For many millions of people, a relationship with G-d is the only way to patch that hole in the soul. Your free will may go another way, but can you tell us what is on the other side of the other side?
Anyway, I hope this holiday season we will all take the time to truly talk to our friends and families. A lot of people are really hurting . . . many are without jobs and some are without hope. They could use a hand and maybe a c-note, if you can spare it. At the least you can spare a little of your time, which is the most valuable thing you have.
Children and young people watch our every move. They learn from us, for better or worse. For them, and for the good of all, be a model and a mentor. Capturing the deal of the day won’t win the hearts of our children.
When you see the next ad for the one day only, 70% off whatever, think it over. Do you need it so badly or is there someone who needs you more? Love your family and your friends more than your stuff. It’s your choice and your time and it’s good for only one place in time. Make it count and rejoice.