Here’s the thing: I don’t like shopping for the sake of it and I don’t think much of Black Fridays or any other major sales. In fact they scare me. Now you’ll say what a party pooper. Not really. I’ll explain.
First of all, shopping areas and those hordes of desperadoes trying to grab yet another amazing item at an unbeatable price are robbing us of quite of few humanity tresses that have been passed on for a while now. Dignity is the first one that comes to mind. People have used pepper sprays to get ahead. Truth.
You can play devil’s advocate and say that people need various stuff and they want to get them at lower prices, which makes sense, it does. But let’s pause for a second and consider something: Is it survival items we are talking about or objects that provide us with the kind of mindless entertainment that we don’t need more of, or toys that our children forget about soon after they receive them or things that we assume we cannot live without? What can you really not live without? A cool introspection exercise we can all benefit from.
Second: There is no free lunch. Truth. Here or anywhere else. To create something, you need an input of energy, work, time – all of them together or separate, depending on the things in question. If it’s food and cheap, its origins are as questionable as its quality. If it’s an object and cheap, then chances are that someone’s work, time and energy are not valued. Cheap labor that is. Or resources, digging deep to get the last bits out. Often times, heck, let’s say almost always, exploitation of people and the planet go hand in hand. Awful pairing if you ask me. So either way, cheap is bad news. Unless we’re talking reused items. Previously loved, recycled goods, call them whatever you want, the idea is the same: Someone bought something solid enough to last a while and they don’t need it anymore so others can get it at a fraction of the price.
With the flurry of cheap objects that last as long as a fruit fly can live (that’s about a month or so), you’ll wonder how on earth can we hope to keep second hand stores alive. Many of the things we fiercely fight for and proudly achieve are becoming but a pile of garbage sooner than later. You may argue it’s not true but do look around and ponder. How many out of ten objects you see around you can be awarded the “cradle to grave” award?
What then? Some stuff we can let go, some we can’t. At least not yet. Buy what you need, most of the time, anyway. Buy when you need, not when the want muscle is coerced by a giant sale. Buy good stuff. Those are the objects that rarely go on sale. For a reason. They are good, in fact they are so good that they come with a long-time or even lifelong warranty and you really have to think twice (or many times) before you commit to it. Cheapness invites to shopping frivolity. Previously loved stuff is abundant and cheap. But you still have to be wise about it. It could be bad quality too, it could be not worth the money, there is no perfect universal solution. And you can overdo that too.
Ad-free living is a good start. For clear thinking. Needs first, wants second. To avoid frivolity. And no shades of black or any other color. Life is one colorful adventure. To drape the Black Friday veil or any other gigantic shopping adventure over it really does flatten some of the colors out. For no good reason come to think of it. Say it isn’t so.