It’s that time of year again. Black Friday is upon us, beginning the last season of deals before Christmas.
A season in which we are smothered with advertisements for everything from electronic gadgets to fast-fashion. A time to stay up all night in order to receive the deals that will allow us to get cheap items for our friends and family for Christmas. A day in which we disregard what we have been grateful for, simply to purchase the ‘next big thing’ at a low price.
Now more than ever, consumerism is normalized and idealized in our culture. We see Black Friday Hauls on YouTube, advertisements are crowding our social media platforms, and the expectations of society justify the purchases. We throw our values and grateful minds behind us so we can jump ahead a little further in the line.
Of course, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with shopping on Black Friday. The issue is when we become too wrapped up in the idea of immediate gratification while purchasing things that are harmful to our wallets, environment, and values.
It’s time we look past the advertisements and grab hold of the things that matter most.
This Black Friday, consider combatting the consumeristic culture around us by setting your heart in a peaceful and prosperous position to carry you through the rest of the year. For example, if you were planning on waking up early to shop (online or offline), consider waking up and sitting with your thoughts for a few minutes before beginning your day. Perhaps instead of shopping, beginning a passion project could be a more productive use of your time.
Furthermore, while others are sitting in traffic and spiking their stress levels by rushing to the store, it might better to go for a walk or a hike and get your heart rate elevated in a way that calms your mind and spirit (and doesn’t include you going into debt).
As cheesy as this may sound, setting your heart in the right place could mean spending your time on other people. Volunteering your time to those who may need it is a surefire way to set your intentions on a good path and set the tone for the rest of the year.
Finally, if you do decide to venture out into the stores this Black Friday, ensure that what you are going to purchase aligns with your values. Have a plan before you go into the store so that you don’t fill your cart up with meaningless items. If possible, consider supporting local, independent businesses instead of sweat shops.
This holiday season, we can combat the consumerist culture and put ourselves into a situation in which we are loving, present, and genuine humans. Your time and energy are two of the most precious resources you have. Don’t allow the advertisements to grab ahold of your values and run away with them.