The source link provides a gruesome list of Black Friday related injuries and deaths. One of the deaths is of a teen who fell asleep at the wheel on the way home from a day of Black Friday shopping. She probably stayed up all night to be the first in line, and literally shopped till she dropped. Another man was stabbed, fighting over a parking space. Still another, shot on his way home, carrying a television. Reporters shake their heads over the senseless tragedies that result from Black Friday, but never consider themselves to be a part of the problem. Well, they are, and a big part at that!

Over the last several days, all we've seen is wall to wall, Black Friday coverage telling us where we can find the best deals and steals. Every blog I read has had at least five posts a day on Black Friday specials, Black Friday gift ideas, Black Friday apps. All are trying to drive traffic to their sites by stoking the incendiary fires of conspicuous consumption. Though my own coverage was practically nonexistent by comparison, what little I provided still contributed to the noise. To trivialize these events, and reduce them to the stupidity of a few, over zealous, undereducated people, is to understand little about the human psyche, and care even less about the plight of your fellow humans. A few weeks ago, that would have described me. No more! I encourage everyone to consider the consequences of conspicuous consumption. 

There is an alternative to the conspicuous gluttony of things that we do not need. That would be the inconspicuous consumption of the same goods. There are no fights in parking lots, or tramplings in aisle 10 when a package is delivered by UPS.  Many of the same deals from Black Friday can still be had on Cyber Monday. The difference is that on Cyber Monday, no one has to die for them. I encourage everyone to shop online whenever possible, and shop with moderation when out and about. It's safer for you, and better for society. 

David Johnson

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