How like an addict we all appear, promoting “Black Friday” like some sick joke; it is transparent, a desperate plea, a junkie strung out on the thing he thinks will take the pain away. It is sold to us as inevitable.
It is not.
Do not let them fool you. You were born naked and perfect. You do not need stuff. And stuff does not speak love for you to those you hold dear. This consumption is our common affliction, and the larger issues â€” the wars, the sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, poverty, and oppression â€” will not go away until we grapple with this disease, this mythology that selling stuff to one another, that using profit and capitol as the gatekeeper of justice somehow makes this a great nation.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is a dark time; a bad economy dominated by power mongering elite; federal and state legislatures held hostage by ideologues who want to wrap us in their fear and roll us back to the 1950â€™s (or earlier); a planetary eco system reeling from millennia of exploitation and neglect.
But give thanks. Give thanks for living, and breathing, and loved ones around you (and those that are no longer with us). Give thanks for the here and the now – they are all we truly have, and they are transitory.
And then, on Friday, remember that it is international Buy Nothing Day.
You will not help the economy by spending vociferously. You will not help yourself. You will not be â€œmissing outâ€ on anything special if you fail to show up. You will not be failing to show your loved ones you care because you do not buy them the best that money can buy at bargain prices.
This is the frenzy that big corporations want, not only because it keeps them â€œin the blackâ€ financially, but because it reifies their world view; it institutionalizes greed and justifies their actions (â€œweâ€™re just giving people what they wantâ€).
So instead, take the day to breathe. Keep the wallet in your back pocket, or purse. Take a walk outside. Call or write a friend. Contemplate your time on the planet and what impact (positive? negative?) you want to have on it and those that will come after you.
Letâ€™s make this the year that common folk will find their way into the black. Financially. Spiritually.
Wow, I’ve been celebrating Buy Nothing Day for years now and not even realizing it. Every year, I make plans for the day after Thanksgiving: I’m going to lounge around my house or apartment (wherever I happen to be living at that point), maybe clean, maybe cook some food, maybe read for a while, maybe take a nap… Pretty much anything that doesn’t involve putting pants on and leaving the house.