By the tents lined up in front of Best Buy, and by the hating of the tent people plastered all over Facebook… the conundrum of these opposing views has me checking in with myself…. wondering what on earth is happening.
As my judgment consumed me, I found myself thinking about the planet and it’s inhabitance, the children in sweatshops across the world in deplorable conditions, the cycle of consumerism that’s crushing the spirit of our people….. I briefly considered writing about consumerism and the cycle desire creates… and sharing one of my all time favorite examples.. THE STORY OF STUFF ( ok, I will share it, click here! )
I found myself filled with judgment not only towards the people in the tents and shopping on this day, but also for the people condemning them. The hypocrisy is overwhelming considering the country we live, the lives we lead…. The hypocrisy of me condemning the two groups, both of which I sit squarely in the center of, is profound.
My truth is, I have no clue how to fix it all, especially since I participate in it everyday.
These days, I’m committed to being for something versus against something, so I decided to explore what was going on and see what beauty I could find:
Two women in the Wal-Mart literally head butted each other over the last coffee pot. Approaching the item, they seemed like decent and kind average folk. It ended with both on the floor in a full-blown girl fight, the kind I loved to watch in the halls in middle school.
Two aisles over, a man was buying a backpack for his son to use for school. He told me he saved $5.00 from his last 10 paychecks, and stood in the cold for 3 hours to ensure he could get the only one he could afford.
One of my closest friends lives on less than $500 a month. He’s saved for 7 months to buy new running shoes today because they are at such a deep discount he can finally afford them…. He wore the other ones out competing in charity runs, raising money for local non-profits.
A mom-to-be told me how grateful she is that her company opened up on thanksgiving for the first time and she got picked to work; she got overtime, a hundred-dollar bonus and is saving all her time off for after her baby is born… she’s saved a full additional month of hours to be with her new child. In addition, every customer she greets, she’s thanking them for the gift they’ve inadvertently given her.
A wise monk I know is buying a new computer today…. His only income is others generosity, so he had to wait for the black Friday sale. Now he can share his spiritual teachings, experience strength and hope with so many people, connecting with others in a profound way that can alter humanity forever.
My friend is opening his new Guitar store today. A business dedicated to fostering creativity and helping people re-align with what really matters. At his front door today will be more than 5000 people, probably a number he won’t attract for the rest of the year combined. Can you imagine the impact one sale could make? What’s changed or defined this world more than music, more than the growth of the spirit inside the future musician?
So I’m surviving this black friday by seeing the good, the beauty, the blessings.
When I pay attention, focus in and work my practice, I see the suffering, and the beauty, within me and in everything…