Do you know what day this is? Buy Nothing Day will take place on November 25th this year. It’s the same day as “Black Friday” but unlike Black Friday, it’s about not consuming or buying more stuff for the sake of a sale.
I’m pretty disgusted with the concept of Black Friday, particular when you consider it’s the day following the american Thanksgiving.
“In 2008 a crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers in Valley Stream, New York, waited outside for the 5:00 a.m. opening of the local Wal-Mart. As opening time approached the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, and trampling a 34 year old employee to death. The shoppers did not appear concerned with the victim’s fate, expressing refusal to halt their stampede when other employees attempted to intervene and help the injured employee, complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. Shoppers had begun assembling as early as 9:00 the evening before. Even when police arrived and attempted to render aid to the injured man, shoppers continued to pour in, shoving and pushing the officers as they made their way into the store. Several other people incurred minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital. The incident may be the first case of a death occurring during Black Friday sales; according to the National Retail Federation, “We are not aware of any other circumstances where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving.” ~wikipedia
How can anyone not feel contempt for the mentality that the crazed consumer mob displays on occasions like these?
“What most people need to learn in life is how to love people and use things instead of using people and loving things.”
I know a few people who are advocating for a local and handmade type Black Friday but this really misses the greater point. Black Friday is all about frivolous and pointless shopping. Certainly it’s better to consume locally made items over mass produced needless junk but do it on a different day rather than perpetuate the spirit of Black Friday.
We can’t continue to live in a world where we consume the way we currently do. I plead the case for a more meaningful way to spend the day after Thanksgiving by Buying Nothing instead. Be grateful for what you already have and for the things that actually matter, for instance the freedom to not buy into the idea that you have to amass great quantities of stuff. To quote myself: I don’t get it but there’s no question it’s “normal” in the world we live in today to want to amass stuff. This stuff, that stuff, new stuff, old stuff, the latest stuff, the stuff we see famous people amassing. Consuming does not make the world a better place or bring happiness to anyone.
Please consider celebrating Buy Nothing Day this year. Surely we could all be responsible for one day.