Control consumerism, commit to sacrificial giving
Opinions Editor, Tynin Fries, '14.
The first thing I saw on Nov. 25 while reading through my Facebook newsfeed was the announcements of crazy sales, great deals, cold and long lines all due to the event we call Black Friday. Although one shopping spree a year may seem harmless in an individual life, the effect of an entire nation shows the degraded moral obligation of society.
The original purpose of Black Friday was to create a day for great deals on Christmas presents. Slowly the presents turned into things for everyday life. I fall into this category as I arrived at Target as 1 a.m. to purchase, yes I'm a nerd, a USB drive for the deal of $2.99. Was I going to wait a month to open it, when the need for it might be diminished? Of course not. I opened it the next morning and stuck it in my backpack.
Though something as simple as that might seem innocent, what has it done to America as a whole? We have become savages, who pepper spray and trample people just so we can buy gifts for ourselves. As Andrew Leonard said on the Salon, -its insane.--
In America it's quite sad that more people place consumerism before citizenship. Black Friday rallies more people than poles do during voting. Why are people simply more motivated for the hectic sales than for the future of our country?
I think that people lack consideration that the growing of Black Friday is also the growth of selfish, greedy buyers in America. -Black Friday is no longer simply an exercise in selfishness, greed, and bad taste. It has become a human rights issue,-- wrote Lee Siegel on The Daily Beast. He argues that America has become controlled, with our minds twisted into thinking that spending money is the only way to happiness.
When Michael Cornelius stated that he wanted to see people rallied up for a good cause rather than gift shopping on The Arizona Republic, it began a domino of thoughts. What if people were rallied up to bring in canned foods for the homeless, to donate money to the needy, or to mentor kids without real parents? The difference we could make would be enormous among a world of hungry, needing, and poor people.
This day, though, good for the economy and for the Christmas shoppers is the kind of moral we need to have on issues of greater importance. If this amount of money and effort directly coordinated towards helping others, America could change lives.
For more columns, read the Nov. 29 article, Service as part of our mission.