in what is typically known as "black friday," we show our true colors: that in the middle of an economic recession, with a short-term credit market that is threatening to collapse- we are still a nation of rabid consumers. npr reported people lining up at best buy at 10am yesterday- waiting through thanksgiving day and all night long for the 5am opening of the temple. ny times reports a walmart employee getting trampled to death (along with four shoppers injured and a pregnant woman taken in for observation) this morning as shoppers tore down the temple doors for early access to worship.
today i invite you to buy nothing. it's a small step towards repentance. if you want to go further, celebrate a buy-nothing-christmas.
it is increasingly important that we be thoughtful with our spending and understand the impact of our consumption. if you want to give, may your giving not stop with the person recieving the gift. get creative. how about giving some beans from coffee ambassadors? or a micro-loan from kiva? even a donkey or a well from oxfam? or create something- because when you are engaged with your own creativity, your health and the health of your community is vitalized.
and if you need something, i recommend a few questions to work through. Ask yourself: 1) if you really need it. 2) if you can borrow it from someone you know. 3) if you can make it yourself. 4) if you can purchase it used. 5) if you can get it discounted.
introduce new products into your cycle of consumption only as a last resort.
do not participate in 500% mark-ups.
ok, my rant is over. merry chri$tma$.