Thanksgiving is here. Traditionally a day of giving thanks for the abundance of the harvest. A celebration in acknowledgement of kindness. A time to gather with family and friends to be grateful for our many blessings. Mere hours after stuffing ourselves silly and giving thanks for all that we have, Americans cut their family time short to ram sack and camp out at department stores, fighting and trampling over each other to accumulate more material goods we don't need.
The irony is chilling.
The "mega deals" come at a grave cost. In order to indulge in these cheap goods, American corporations outsource work and the true cost is dirt cheap labor that robs humans of their dignity. The corporations claim, "we are giving them work." No, they are taking advantage of a desperate human being, but hey, quarter sales are better than ever! The profits they collect are in the TRILLIONS, but the pay they provide to these already impoverished people so that we can continue to buy $6 tee's is abhorrent.
There is nothing more Un-American than purchasing goods that weren't "Made in America" at the expense of subjecting another human being to horrific working conditions where they get paid barely enough to survive. There is a cause and effect here, for the more we buy, and the more we fall for those brutally clever ads that convince us we need "stuff" to validate our worth and we won't be liked without all this "stuff", the more suffering takes place. There is a woman in Bangladesh who has to leave her child in another village because the whole dollar a day she is making isn't enough. This isn't right.
We need to be made aware of the harm and pollution we are contributing to when we partake in events like Black Friday. You aren't just a consumer, you are a human. You can make the choice to consume less and instead of indulging in a massive shopping haul, perhaps you purchase fewer things and give to those who don't even have enough to feed themselves or their families. How different the world would be if we were givers and not gluttonous consumers.
I want to applaud filmmaker Andrew Morgan for his eye opening documentary, "The True Cost." It deeply affected me and raised my level of awareness, and for that, I am truly grateful.
If you do nothing else but read and share this post, you have already done so much. So, thank you.
Remember, you can make a difference. In America we vote with our dollars. Do you really need that crop tee? another belt? another hoodie? The environmental cost is horrendous and the human cost is even more harrowing.
To whom you give your money, you give your power. You have more power than you think.