A couple of years back… for some crazy reason El Salvador has inherited the Black Friday tradition. Of all the horrible things to adopt , this is one of the worst. It’s not even an American tradition per se, it is more of a tradition of shopping/ consumerism.
We have been programmed to consume something at certain times of the year without thinking about it’s consequence. Holidays have been invented and have prospered based on this very notion. By doing this we equate buying things to everything.
Think about it. On Thanksgiving, we are taught to consume vast quantities of food ( much more than we can possibly hope to finish costing vast amounts of waste) because we are taught that gratitude equates spending money on food. We then are programmed to madly rush to stores on Black Friday so we can be the First to buy things at incredible prices. The result is this :
On Valentine’s day we celebrate love by buying something, on christmas we celebrate by buying something, on mother’s day we celebrate by buying something…why are we equating money to friendship, or love or relationships? How does buying things solve all of our problems? Why do we think of buying things and going into debt by consuming things we clearly don’t need?
I don’t know about anyone else, but this seems like quite a dichotomy. We are celebrating love, spirituality, the birth of Jesus Christ, family and we become mad with desire to consume material means? Our main goal is to consume
The problem is that this ideal is extending to every country in the world, and most people are going well beyond their means to maintain this American Dream. We all know this cautionary tale, the reason why we are in such economic trouble now is because we are taught to always go well beyond our means. We are so consumed by buying things that we spend all of our time and energy on it.
I wonder what life would be if everyone for one hour spent energy , money and time into making their neighborhood a better place. In trying to help educate people around them. In spending money improving our schools, perserving our culture and musical aspirations, in improving our quality of life.
This time of year always puts me slightly on edge , I can feel the manic energy in the air pulsing around me and it gets me tense. I just have to learn not to absorb all of the mania. Take a deep breathe and go about my day.
It might sound cheap, but at times I prefer to make my own gifts. I prefer to give a painting, a poem or a handmade gift . Although many people think of it as of lesser value, this took time and love and effort. It was something that I made, that is unique . It is a small little snowflake special in all the world by becoming something that only that one person has. What a sad world we live in when we think this is of no value.