Thanksgiving is nearly here! How I love this holiday devoted to the idea of giving thanks for all our blessings. And how I need it!
Hard on the heels of Thanksgiving, though, comes a day that almost seems to be devoted to forgetting all our blessings and clamoring for more: Black Friday.
Of course, it's not so simple as that. Retailers depend on pre-Christmas sales to push them from the red into the black. Many people who need jobs are able to find employment in stores in anticipation of the rush of sales. Lots of gift-givers depend on pre-Christmas sales to be able to afford the things they'd like to give away. Some parents count on Black Friday in particular as the one day they're able to do their Christmas shopping. So it's not all bad.
But when bargain-seekers trample one another in a race to grab the best deals? That's bad.
When drivers are reckless in their rush to secure parking spaces? That's bad.
When shoppers are rude, even abusive, to weary clerks and store managers? That's bad.
Is the answer to boycott Black Friday? Is the answer for all of us to stay home and buy nothing? Maybe. But that approach ignores the good things about Black Friday, doesn't it?
Perhaps a better approach is for us all to consider how we might light up Black Friday. I wonder how we could do that?
Some of us could stay home, for sure. But perhaps instead of vilifying retailers and condemning shoppers, we could pray for their well-being.
Some of us will be working on Black Friday. Instead of feeling resentful toward shoppers, we could be grateful for our jobs and thankful that our businesses can move from the red into the black.
Some of us will be shopping on Black Friday. Instead of focusing solely on our own shopping agendas, we could look out for one another. We could stop to help a fellow shopper in need. We could express thanks to store personnel for their hard work. We could wait patiently in long lines, smiling at one another rather than rolling our eyes.
Or here's a radical thought. What if those of us who go out shopping took some treats in our pockets and purses? What if went out with the intention of blessing those around us as well as finding the items on our lists?
Wouldn't it be cool if some of us, instead of giving a store clerk a grumpy frown, gave him or her a smile and a candy bar?
Wouldn't it be neat if some of us, instead of allowing ourselves to be frustrated by the shopper who is irritating us, gave him or her a smile and a piece of gum?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all tried to share our lights on Black Friday, and we thanked others for sharing theirs?
What do you think? Could we light up Black Friday? Do you have any ideas on how we could do it?