The Hypocrisy of Black Friday

Alex Ourth, Courier Staff

This past weekend marked one of the biggest ironies that occurs in America each and every year. This irony is that of the Thanksgiving-Black Friday combination.

Only in America could we turn a once-meaningful holiday focusing on being grateful into a fight-to-the-death shopping spree. As the years have passed, the irony has only grown, as the beginning of Black Friday has continued to inch further and further into Thanksgiving. Considering this, I believe it is time that we remember the value of the Thanksgiving holiday, and give it the respect it deserves.

Now, I know that the history behind Thanksgiving isn’t perfect. The depiction of pilgrims and Indians sitting around a smorgasbord of food and singing kumbaya isn’t quite how it happened. However, I do believe that the general themes surrounding Thanksgiving are important for a healthy society. These themes being an appreciation of the things we have, and an understanding that our success is not merely our own. Thanksgiving reminds us of the things that really matter in life, like our family and friends. It also reminds us of the importance of having basic needs like food and shelter met.

Thanksgiving humbles us by reminding us that everything we have is a blessing and that nothing in this world is guaranteed. Reflections like these play a vital role in maintaining a strong and united society. It reminds us that there are others around us who don’t have some of the blessings that we do, and makes us more receptive to supporting the less fortunate around us.

Unfortunately, instead of focusing on these themes, our attention has shifted onto what more we can buy and what deals we can get. Black Friday brings out such terrible qualities in people, like valuing material things over others. We are encouraged to think only about ourselves and our own desires. This encouraged greed has led to 12 deaths and 117 injuries over the Black Friday “holidays.” People have literally been trampled, shot and beaten up during Black Friday sales. All of this damage to acquire things that we really don’t need, and that really don’t bring us lasting joy.

Although the Thanksgiving holiday is over for this year, I hope that people will remember the value in the meaning of Thanksgiving. That we should be thankful for what we already have, and that family, friends and faith (things we cannot buy) are far more valuable than anything we can find in a store. These are the truths we should be living by both on Thanksgiving, and on every other day of the year. If we did, we would find ourselves living in a more supportive and respectful society