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28 November 2008

Help the man up off the floor

Black friday Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold. -William Butler Yeats

Dear lord. We have lost our minds. We have so disengaged from our lives that things have taken precedence over people. Amy Guth pointed me to this story from this morning's New York Daily News:

A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

Have we lost our ever loving minds, my friends? What happens to us? As individuals, we are thoughtful, kind, merciful people. In crowds? Not so much. Are we addicted to things, to Elmo dolls and new iPhones and telescoping feather dusters at the expense of human beings? Are we losing ourselves in the aisles of Wal-Mart? I believe we are, sometimes in great force and sometimes so incrementally we can't see the loss.

At the end of our lives, we will sit alone or with a few people, uncomforted by the things of our lives, but held up by the people in our lives instead. We will have no need for that new toaster oven, the one for which we trampled a man to death. We have fallen prey to infomercials, to a quest for meaning outside of ourselves, when it is inside we will find that meaning. Only inside. Deeply inside, that place that doesn't need high-speed internet connections or bread makers.

Meaning comes not with a 25% off coupon or a new iPod, but in the spaces we cultivate between us. The best things in life are not things, my friends, and this man's family and the family of that unborn child will forever mourn them, an even deeper loss at the inhumanity of it, the senselessness, the dark awful hole of consumerism that caused it.

Regain perspective this holiday season, and stay human. Live life on a simpler scale, a slower one, a more human and humane one, one with fewer gadgets and more love. Simple, human love. Hold to your center. Help the man up off the floor.


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Not to be negative. But another senseless act of violence. Over what? The last Elmo doll? Ridiculous! It's a shame they hurt each other, but I'm glad they didn't hurt anyone else as they ran through a TRU shooting at each other. *Shakes head*

The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. (A lot of people think the quote is money is the root of all evil, but it's the love of it, actually.) I also equate that to 'things'. I don't normally wear my Christianity on my sleeve, but come on people...Jesus is the reason for the season and he was born in a stable not in a palace. Let's take the hint!

Oh, Amen, sister!

Thank you for putting out there, so eloquently, what I've been thinking and feeling ever since I heard about this incident. This year is the first in a long time that I did not participate in Black Friday madness. And I've always been grateful that my town's madness hasn't ever made it on the news. Might be because people hold the door for the next person and greet each other with smiles and discuss the insanity of getting up in the middle of the night to shop, of all things!

Perhaps the US should start observing the 25th December as a religious event AND not letting shops making it a money-making kind!

What has buying and giving presents got to do with the birth of Jesus?

this story breaks my heart and to be honest just plain pisses me off, which makes me think... umm pisses me off... anger of people... violence... but this was something different than anger management... it is madness and it not only pisses me off it scares me alot... can't we just slow down and take it easy our lives depend on it, right?


Until last year, I worked retail during the holiday season. I remember having to be at work by 4 a.m. for the "doorbuster sales" and feeling angry because I knew that there are usually only a few of the deals "to good to be true" and sometimes we wouldn't have any at our store. My feelings about Christmas and consumerism changed forever during those years working retail and learning all of the tricks they use to get people to come in and then buy other items so they wouldn't feel it was a total loss not getting one of the "doorbusters." The stores expect the madness and don't do anything to stop the madness and put the well being of their employees and customers first. This story makes me feel so sad and it shows how perverted materialism can make a holy celebration. TFS!

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