Stuff is expensive and times are hard which is why it makes sense that people love a sale (or take to a life of crime, whatever). But there’s loving a sale, then there’s camping out for days beforehand or punching people in the face if they get their hands on the thing you wanted. Everything in moderation, eh? I saw this video footage the other day of the Black Friday sales in the States last week and it hurt my soul. I just don’t think I’ll ever want anything badly to get wrapped up in a stampede.
I like having nice things as much as the next person, but there’s a limit to my level of lust. I draw a very clear dividing line between what I want and what I need. Oh sure, there have been some slip ups along the way there, like the time I spent my rent money on a jacket (feel free to judge me – I judge the hell out of myself for that one), but as I’ve grown up (let me rephrase: from the time I had to manage my own money), I have realised just how much we buy into the dream. It’s hard to accept that I’ll never live in a Habitat catalogue or be draped in Missoni from head to toe every day, but such is my lot in life.
For people on low incomes, sales are essential, allowing them to get the bare minimum of what they need for a price they may actually be able to afford. But when Black Friday or January sales roll around, the majority of people there are there for one reason only: not need, but greed.
We don’t need Xboxes or giant widescreen TVs or the latest smartphones for your seven year old, but we’re just so used to being told we do on every advert we see, we just believe it. Not only do people believe it, some go to ridiculous measures in the pursuit of it. I watched these videos of the Black Friday sales and recoiled in horror as people literally pushed and shoved others out of the way, yelled and climbed over people. The more I watched, the more it was just a disgusting display of materialism at its worst. I was embarrassed for these people. Sure, I may want the entire Missoni Home collection, but I’ll be damned if it’s that important to me that I’d line up at 5am and sucker punch the chick who got her hands on the last duvet cover. It just really ain’t that serious.
It’s OK to want nice things, but when you’d physically harm someone else in your pursuit of them, it may be time to ask yourself a few questions. Call me old fashioned, but maybe focusing a little more on who we are rather than what we have would lead to us all being a little happier.