Do the Right Thing

Spirit, science, and health

The Absurdity of Black Friday

Consider just saying no to Black Friday.

Think about it. You have a much welcomed day off from work and so you get up well before dawn, rush to the local mall or shopping center, stand in line for hours in the cold and dark, and then spend a lot of money on stuff you don’t really want or need while battling hordes of easily stressed out and frustrated people! Sounds great doesn’t it? How have we allowed ourselves to be so manipulated to engage in this remarkable shopping ritual the day after Thanksgiving? Wouldn’t you much rather sleep in, have some leisurely time to be with friends and family, maybe take a long walk or something?  What do you really want to do on Black Friday?  

In so many ways we are often (and too easily) manipulated by those who wish to have us depart with our hard earned cash especially during the holiday season. Don’t take the bait! Be thoughtful about how you spend your day after Thanksgiving as well as how you make your holiday purchases. Think outside the box to figure out what might be best for you and your loved ones in terms of spending your valuable time and money.  Maybe consider shopping online so that you can avoid the crowds, pressure, and on sight temptations. Maybe you can consider giving gifts of time, talents, and home made items rather than stuff from the mall. Black Friday might be good for the United States economy as well as all of the big stores that host Black Friday events and sales but it might not be so good for you! Consider just saying no to Black Friday and find a more rewarding way to spend your day after Thanksgiving.  Thoughtfully ask yourself how do you really want to spend your time on Black Friday. 

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Black Friday Survival Guide

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 So, what do you think? 

Thomas Plante, PhD, ABPP, is the Augustin Cardinal Bea, SJ University Professor at Santa Clara University and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University.

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