Black Friday, the day that foreshadows how the market will perform through the new year, was actually a dark day in history (in case you didn’t know) representing a large-scale financial crisis because of greedy Wall Street financers in the 1800s.
Gosh, sounds familiar.
Now we’ve reclaimed the meaning of that day, or rather, corporations have reclaimed it and turned it into a day of splurging and materialism. Cash flows from regular folks’ pockets into the wallets of billionaires and executives who source labor from the underemployed and materials from China. I mean, I am exaggerating a little.
Let’s Back Up a Bit
I used to spend the day after Thanksgiving going on hikes or long runs and enjoying how empty everything was that wasn’t a store. The outside world was my oyster for that quiet, quiet day.
I refused to utter the words “Black Friday” because I staunchly opposed what the day had come to mean: greed and a blatant disregard for the environmental destruction that comes with unfettered materialism.
Instead, I called it Buy Nothing Day along with millions of other environmentalists who human-cott the spending spree that is Black Friday.
On Buy Nothing Day, I distanced myself from over-stressed employees and screaming throngs of people breaking down doors, running people over, and fighting over highly discounted flat-screen televisions. I was horrified by this violence that resulted in mountains of plastic, cardboard, and Styrofoam and; inevitably, piles of broken electronics and discarded toys after mere months of use.
To me, Black Friday represented the worst humanity has to offer – a piling up of vices so-to-speak – and I stayed as far away as possible.
Then My Life Changed
In 2013 I was diagnosed with a disease that runs in my family (Ankylosing Spondylitis) that upended my world and disabled me in a matter of a few years. Continue reading The Privilege of Having Enough