“Black Friday” (Consumer Paradise)
Can we all imagine buying less?
I’m tempted by the discounted computer products, and the percentages off appealing items at the store – I love my things. I’ve got tons of them! …but the thought of moving them, when the time eventually comes to move to a different home, does not appeal to me at all. I need to shed some of these possessions that are beginning to own me!
In the States, there’s been a consumer-driven movement called “Black Friday” for a number of years, now. It’s right after American Thanksgiving, and it’s in anticipation of the great gluttony – disguised as “gift-giving” – in which consumers have chosen to frame Christmas. Sadly, it’s coming to Canada. I prefer to work at the Canadian-originated “Buy Nothing Day” observance.
Everywhere, it seems like ‘more stuff’ is the answer. And, as noted above, it’s easy to get sucked into it – I know I’ve let myself be convinced that I need things I really don’t! And it takes more resources – and dubious business practices – to satisfy the “demand” of the hungry masses. We’re extracting things from the ground at alarming rates. Do we care what kind of planet – or wasteland (as the case may be) – we leave our grand-children?
There’s a movement – albeit a small one (it’s hard to be a voice of change when it’s a change to the system) – where people are being invited to consume less, and to work less. It’s about having more leisure time, and being less of a burden on environment. …and it could also lead to more sharing of wealth, jobs, and learning.
The thing is, we’ve allowed ourselves to be convinced by marketers that we need things we really don’t, and that the newest thing is the best one. Information about how our consumer-habits affect the planet and our relationships (let alone our pocket-books) is swept under the rug. What we need is to take a step back – even to take several ‘buy nothing days’ – and to consider what really leads to happiness, what is really important, and how we might do with less.
It’s about changing what we’ve been lead to believe so that we might have a view for the future. It’s about choosing a different perspective, even as we might be bombarded with messages of cheap goods that will make our lives better, it’s about deciding that this holiday season will be about life for all!