Saturday, November 26, 2011

Priorities and lines

I couldn't help but connect a couple of very divergent stories in the news yesterday, both which were about people waiting in lines.  The first came from Moscow, Russia, where it was noted people were waiting 24 hours in a line to see and possibly kiss what was thought to be the belt of the Virgin Mary (Tens of thousands of Russians brave cold, line up to see newly arrived Virgin Mary's belt).  It was thought by some the belt could bring special reproductive powers, among other things.

Here in the United States there were lines of shoppers all across the country. At the Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minnesota there were 15,000 people at the doors when they opened at midnight (Black Friday midnight openings: No going back).  They expected to see 200,000 shoppers by day's end.  Many of these shopper's belts may have been busting after recently eating their Thanksgiving meal. I connected these stories by their vastly different rationale for what people believed was worth waiting for, utilizing their precious life's energy and time.  For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?   Matthew 16: 26

There has been some outrage in the US over many large store chains who moved up their Black Friday shopping times such that thousands of store employees were required to leave their Thanksgiving gatherings early.  The store management indicated they had to do this in response to "customer needs".

E.F. Schumacher, a British economist, and author of "Small is Beautiful, Economics as if people mattered",  had the following wisdom related to this consumption frenzy... An entirely new system of thought is needed, a system based on attention to people, and not primarily attention to goods.

In response to all the hype generated by "Black Friday" some have chosen to protest with "Buy Nothing Friday", while today others will be supporting "Buy Local Saturday".

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