Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

What If There Was Another Way?

Black Friday.  Sounds ominous.  Sounds like the day some calamitous event took place.  

Come to think of it...

We have a day each year set aside to celebrate our thankfulness.  Whatever the history of Thanksgiving, the holiday had come to be a time to reflect on what we have and to appreciate it. In our various ways we celebrate the bounty in our lives, however modest it may be, and seek to share that bounty with family and friends.  We fill our hearts with good will and our bellies with copious amounts of food, we fall into feast related comas, and we waken to eat again, watch football, play games, and participate in our various Thanksgiving traditions.

Then some of us spend the next day participating in what has long been called "Black Friday",  considered by many to be the official start of The Christmas Season (TM).

On black Friday, many stores open in the wee hours and offer progressives savings and deals on popular items, allegedly so that we can save money and buy over-the-top gifts for others.  On Black Friday, it seems that people forget their humanity, forget their compassion, forget their better selves and become raving, slavering, consumer goods buying monsters.

People buy cartloads of crap, caught up in the illusion of more-is-better.

 A number of memes point out the irony of this behavior...

For some reason, people are easily swayed by the belief that they MUST!  GET!!  THAT!!!  DEAL!!!! or die...or kill...trying.

Every year there are stories of mayhem and death because a certain item was sold out, or two people reached the last one at the same time, or someone tried to cut in line, or...or...or...
 What if there was an alternative, another way to find and purchase gits for your loved ones, meaningful gifts, gifts that are different, unique, beautiful, and supportive of an entirely different thought process?  What about a gift that is not only given to the recipient, but helps someone else, too?

You can support an artist or artisan - look for gallerys and art cooperatives in your area.  Check out craft fairs, which are abundant this time of year.  Don't want to leave home?  Just take a few minutes to cruise through Etsy.  There's Unleash the Goddess, a shop run by an artist who is a mother of two, a wife, a woman who is creative and encourages creativity in others.  There's amy's delight, another mom, artisan, and all around decent human being.  There's Stonekettle, etsy page of Jim Wright who also writes the blog Stonekettle Station - he's talented, funny, smart, kind to animals, and has a tart sense of humor.  His woodwork is whimsical, useful, and beautiful.

Want to help others build a better life?  Check out The Tinker's Packs, a site dedicated to selling you nifty things and donating ALL of the proceeds to supporting Heifer International.  Or take a look at Heifer International itself.

There are so many meaningful ways to show love through gifting, why on earth do any of us perpetuate this disheartening stampede of mindless savagery?  Does anyone need a new television, computer, talking doll, or hunk of cheap plastic crap that badly?  Is it worth a life?

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