Black Friday Blues

Black Friday Blues

Black Friday Blues

We interrupt today’s mindless worship of consumption with this burning question:

What did you create today?

In the frenzy of Black Friday I am struck by an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness.

I like a good deal as much as anyone and Black Friday is reportedly The Day of the Year for Best Deals.

And not just in the USA. Black Friday has sneaked into the Canadian shopper’s lexicon.

How many of us actually need more stuff?

I realize retailers count on this next month to flush them out of the red and into the black. Our countries’ GDPs rely on strong retail markets. The goal is always growth.

But what is all that growth doing to us? Consider this:

  • Canadians carry record consumer debt; our southern neighbors are similarly burdened.
  • Our governments both struggle to service massive debt.
  • North Americans continue to consume a disproportionate share of the world’s resources.  As developing countries strive to our standard of living the earth is straining under the pressure.
  • I’ll wager that a significant portion of the crap that is purchased this month will be in landfills by spring, likely before the credit card bills are even paid!

How long can this go on? When will we grow ourselves right off the face of the earth?

What would happen if we turned around our thinking?

What if, instead of consuming, we created something to give back to the world?

We don’t need another set of dishes or a TV for the bathroom or more “collections” to dust.

The world needs solutions to its problems, especially solutions unfettered by entities whose sole reason for being is making money at any cost: human rights, pollution, lying.

Some of the best solutions will change the world without making their creators rich. That doesn’t make those solutions any less valuable to the earth. Or any less satisfying to the creator.

A recent news story touted a cancer cure discovered here in Alberta. Sadly, money to conduct solid scientific research is not available. Big Pharma isn’t interested because the promising material cannot be patented. Most of the money raised for research goes to pharmaceutical companies. It’s likely that cure will be buried along with the thousands of patients that die from chemotherapy and radiation poisoning every year.

If more of us keep our credit cards in our wallets during this seasonal consumer free-for-all and if we channel those resources into something to improve the world, we all win. Maybe we should crowd-source (raising money online) the cancer cure and claim ownership of it for the people. We could give it away and save money (on cancer poisons) and save lives.

If we continue in our wasteful indulgences, the world will perish and all the money Obama can print and all the junk you can buy with it won’t make a speck of difference.

To review: creation not consumption.

At least consider it.

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