Friday, November 29, 2013

Combatting American Greed

I'm interrupting my current blog series to give vent to my disgust at U.S. consumerism which has reached a new low, and at the big store chains like WalMart, Target and others which aid and abet it.

What is that new low? Excessive consumerism (in the name of "Christmas"), driven by the emptiness of the American soul and the greed of corporations which seek to exploit consumerism for their own selfish ends, which have crossed a symbolic line by moving their so-called "Black Friday" sales onto Thanksgiving Day itself.

Thanksgiving ... that holiday which used to represent our thankfulness to our Creator for the blessings that He bestowed upon us as a nation. A holiday to gather with family, to rest (mostly), and to refrain from the usual busy day-to-day consumer mentality.

But no. Now we get to wait in long lines outside stores with "killer deals" on big-screen TVs, etc. Who has time to be thankful when we're so busy salivating over the latest "sale" and strategizing ways to bring home the newest toy?

I don't think I'm the only one. A lot of my friends have also expressed their disgust at this new, pathetic low. So, what can we do about it? Is "resistance futile?"

I don't think so. Here is a three-pronged approach for combatting consumerism and greed:

1) Boycott. Those companies which have (because of their greed) crossed this line should know not everyone out there will jump into their shopping cart with wads of cash wafting out of their pockets. Pick a company which honored the spirit of Thanksgiving Day (like Costco) and do your shopping there, instead. And,

2) Share. Let these companies know what you are doing. In this age of social media, you have the power. Tweet something along the lines of the following:
.@WalMart - I'm doing all my #Christmas #shopping @Costco & @REI this year, because THEY were willing to honor the spirit of #Thanksgiving.
Or, taken from another angle:
.@REI @Costco: Thank you for honoring the spirit of #Thanksgiving & stayed closed yesterday! @WalMart & @Target have much 2 learn from you.
Or Facebook, Google+, or your social media poison of choice. I think if enough people do this, perhaps they will reconsider next year. And, perhaps most importantly:

3) Give back. The most effective way to combat greed is to: 1) Be satisfied with what you have, and 2) Be generous with what you have been given. Change the mindset of consumerism by honoring the idea of Giving Back.

Giving Tuesday (Dec. 3) should make Black Friday (or whatever you call what happened on Thanksgiving yesterday) look like child's play. Select your charity(ies) of choice and give generously on Tuesday! Then share Giving Tuesday options and opportunities with your friends and family.

How do you feel about the new lows to which we have stooped? And what are you going to do about it? Please share your ideas!


Patrick Hess and Family Updates said...

Excellent Larry. Only one thing I might challenge is (regarding #1 above). That's not a wad of cash; it's a credit card. If it was cash, there would be fewer people in lines on any day. I know what you mean anyway. I agree. I'm going to tweet and make "Giving Tuesday" a new family holiday. Thank you Larry. Great job as always. Tell the fam, I send greetings. Sandy

Larry Short said...

Thanks Sandy! Good point.

We miss you all! Hope you had a great holiday.

- Larry