I have to give credit to those people that were brave enough to get up in the cold, early morning hours to face the mobs of Black Friday shoppers this year; as for me I stayed home in bed. You couldn’t have paid me enough to be within a mile of any of those stores that morning. I would have rather walked into the wolf exhibit at the zoo wearing a pork chop suit than deal with those throngs of rude and aggressive shoppers. Sadly the wolf exhibit might just have been a safer choice anyway.
We all come to expect ridiculous crowds, rude people and maybe even a few bumps and bruises in the sport of full contact shopping and the quest for the mighty bargain but I was surprised yet somehow not surprised to learn that tragically a Wal-Mart employee had been killed; in fact trampled to death in those early morning hours. I read about this incident yesterday but it has stayed with me like a sour taste in my mouth and the unanswered question I keep coming back to is, just what is wrong with people? I mean really, what is wrong with US as a society that this sort of thing could happen? It is not like this happened because of a sudden disaster, a flood or bomb that sent people running in a panic for their lives and only thinking of themselves; that would be tragic but understandable at least. No, it happened because a bunch of people wanted to save a few bucks on a Plasma TV and was afraid of missing out and now this poor man’s family is missing out on a whole lot more.
This is not what Christmas and this time of year is about, could there be any doubt that Christmas in many ways has become tawdry by all of this commercialism and self-centeredness? This rant isn’t for everyone, because despite the hordes of rude shoppers out there, every season I am humbled and pleasantly surprised by a few people that choose to rise above the fray. These wonderful individuals embrace the holiday season by treating others with respect and kindness. How much do we all appreciate the obviously tired mother with several kids standing in that long check-out line that surely just wants to get home, yet she offers to let people cut in line in front of her if they have less items to check out. What about that person that comes to a parking spot at the same time as you, she could let the situation deteriorate into some horrible parking lot disagreement but instead she waves you the spot with a smile, how rare and beautiful is that this time of year? Now imagine what the holiday season or just life in general would be like if we all tried to just treat others like we would like to be treated.
I know this year is especially bad for many people financially and otherwise, but I just wish we as a people could look towards those things that are truly important, not plasma TVs and other materialistic nonsense, but family and friends. I know when I do get brave enough to face those crowded stores I will try to remember that rudeness and hatefulness just breeds more of the same, but kindness and patience with others also has the potential to spread from one person to another as well. The way we treat others and the way we behave is a choice we all have. It may just be too much to hope for but my hope is that in light of this senseless tragedy more people will make those better choices this Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone and please have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
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