Monday, December 1, 2008

There Isn't That Much To Shop For In The World

Can you imagine someone losing his life for foolishness? A Wal-Mart employee who was making an attempt to open the door on "Black Friday," lost his life to pure and utter non-sense. There has not been the product or gift yet created that would motivate me to arise in the wee hours of the morning, stand in a large crowd, and then bum rush a door to get in and make a purchase. There just is not that much shopping in the world. There just is not that much of a "deal" in the world. Once again, it proves my point that for the most part we have "sucker" written on our materialistic foreheads. Many of the folks in this crowd believe it or not aren't there to shop. They are in the crowd just to be able to say they were in the crowd on Black Friday morning.

One of the reasons I majored in marketing/advertising during my undergraduate days, was my fascination with the influence that advertising/messaging had on people. I am still fascinated by how companies and corporations can actually create markets and needs that really aren't needs at all. What amazes me even more is that we fall for it. I can't emphasize enough my recommendation for folks to take the time to read the book Our Daily Meds to get a really good picture of how a market even in the health care industry can be created. Ailments that don't exist are created in order for people to buy drugs. I cite this example because the same phenomenon occurs every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The media hypes "Black Friday," and more folks than you would think; JUMP! Set their alarm clocks; get up; get dressed; wait in the cold; and then have the audacity to actually stampede (literally stampede) their way into a store. Shoppers gone wild!!! Not a whole lot of independent or critical thinking going on there.

What is it about this time of year that everyone has this need to express their love through giving that is so different from any other time of year? If you love someone, that love should be shown throughout the year and not just at Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever holiday you celebrate. If that were happening, there wouldn't be this great need to stampede a store to get someone a gift that he/she is probably going to return for one reason or another on December 26th (That's an entire Blog by itself that I will address in another edition). It's also interesting how there's all of this commotion over a holiday that many don't even want to celebrate for it's origin; the birth of Jesus Christ. Many choose to call it "XMAS." All of this stampeding to give a gift on a holiday that you want to "X" out. (Another Blog edition forthcoming).

Sadly, a man has lost his life and many of the shoppers gone wild were actually hurt. The question is; for what? You can rest assured you won't find this critical thinker stampeding any one's store, at Times Square for the ball drop on New Year's, or for that matter not even at the inauguration of the first African American President of the United States. I will witness history from home. One bit of advice that my parents always gave me was to "Think for yourself;" you can best believe that this critical thinker thinks for himself. My prayers go out to the family of the gentleman who lost his life doing his job at Wal-Mart.

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