It’s Black Friday, friends. The frenzied holiday retail season has officially exploded in our faces.
I wrote this post a few times, editing down a lot of the darker things I had originally written. Why? I’m an optimist. I just believe that things are going to be okay. That the human race—and all of its magical members—have undiscovered potential and capacity for greatness/kindness/brilliance that will fight evil by moonlight, win love by daylight, and see us through any crisis.
However, one cannot ignore how much darkness we’re facing in the world right now. After all, I’m an optimist—not an idiot.
This morning my inbox is an even mixture of branded marketing emails that attempt to sound detached while saying “please, please buy our leftover merchandise” and alarming environmental newsletters breaking our planet’s rampant pollution issues and harrowing climate crisis.
How can one make sense of this mix?
One is indicative of a robotic consumer culture that has us shackled at every extremity, funneling our money into quick fix purchases that we think will somehow improve our lives, make us more appealing, or simply brighten up our days.
(Hands up if you buy things to “brighten up your day”!)
The other is, well… indicative of a grim reality most of us would rather not think about while we prepare for a festive season ahead.
These “buy, buy, buy” promotions don’t feel fun and whimsical anymore. Instead, they echo that second half of the mixture. Our addiction to more, our insatiable starvation for novelty and newness (and our tendency to define ourselves by those purchasing moments even when we don’t give a crap about the item we’ve purchased weeks later), is killing the planet and the people who live here.
But, as I said… I’m an optimist.
I try to focus on a positive action that can be taken to counter the darkness. Like most people, I want to be proactive and helpful. I want to make a difference through my daily life and whatever grand efforts I can muster.
And like most people, I could be doing a lot more.