Thursday, December 4, 2008

Black Friday

I sat on this topic for awhile mainly because I couldn't think of anything I truly wanted to say about it and like most tragedies everyone has a "fix" and if they were there, had they been in charge, or more likely, had those in charge done a, b, or c the tragedy would not have happened.


I finally decided what I had to say about the death in Long Island this past Friday and what I have to say has absolutely nothing to do with the death. That has been covered a million times over and beat to death. if you want an armchair general's take on the situation just do a Google search, they are not hard to find. yet to a man, woman, child, blogger, writer, all the opinions in the world don't do a bit of good. A man is dead, and it's not his fault, nor is it the fault of Wal-Mart for not providing adequate security it's the fault of America. Shoppers tore the doors from their hinges and rushed the store for what? Electronics gadgets? Trinkets? Stuff? Bullshit.

We teach our children from the moment of birth that stuff matters. I have friends who can't pay their bills, but they have Sirius radio. I have seen college students so far in debt they can't see the sun yet they still go shopping every weekend. Stuff does not matter. He who dies with the most toys, is still dead.

When will we as a culture realize what we are doing? Were teaching our children it's alright to trample a man to death and keep on shopping. When will we start to teach our kids that they don't need all their possessions? When will reduce apply not only to our consumption but our materialism?

I've never been poor. I've had times when money has been tight, when I've had to say no to things, make choices, and occasionally do without. But at no point have I ever been seriously poor. I'm lucky, I come from a middle class household with educated parents are the assumption that I would go to college. Yet I differ from a lot of the people around me in one simple, fundamental way. I don't want stuff. I can count of one hand the things I truly NEED. If we were to truly be that granular I could even list my bare minimum possessions, and I would be surprised if the list exceeded thirty items.

I might just do that.

Anyway, materialism is ruining our society, and the only way to stop it is to make a conscious decision to say no. Don't get up at 4am to shop, don't camp out the night before and when your kid asks for the hot new "it" toy. Tell them no, or better yet, ask them to trade one for one. They want a new toy, then have them give up an old toy, an old game. Keep things in check. helps with clutter too.

In this case a man would still be alive if a group of people had just stopped and thought for a second. No one offered a hand, nobody stopped to help him to his feet. Were all to blame for this, and if there is a God, and for Jdimytai Damour's sake there is, every shopper in that place deserves to relive his last moments, from his perspective, for all eternity.

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