No Bargains To Die For. . .
Before dawn this morning, at a Wal-Mart where I have shopped—it’s in Valley Stream, near where my mother used to live—a store employee was trampled to death. Why? Because this part time worker could not get out of the way when the frenzied shoppers broke the doors down and stampeded the store. That made me feel sick. Click here: WalMart Black Friday stampede kills greeter employed by Long Island Store -- Newsday.com http://www.newsday.com/news/local/nassau/ny-limart1129,0,167903.story
I didn’t hear about the Wal-Mart death until this afternoon because, this morning, instead of hitting a sale or two, or even surfing around for news I was sniffling and sneezing and working on a “let’s give to charity, not to each other ‘cause we all have enough” email, and rounding up family members to help support my cousin’s liver transplant. Fortunately his insurance covers everything—including the donor’s (another cousin) medical expenses. He and his wife live in Amsterdam but 2 patients, 9 hrs of surgery and 6-8 weeks recovery is a long time. And we all know it’s not easy these days for folks to take weeks off without pay. So as a family, we’re going to do all we can to facilitate some additional family presence and support for as long as necessary.
So needless to say, I was horrified, when I came up for air and heard this terrible story--- I’d just been telling my family what good we could do instead of shopping.
There are ads and commercials everywhere, urging us to shop, Shop, SHOP—be the first on line at 5 A.M., 4 A.M., even come for Midnight Madness—so we can get the best deal, the biggest savings. We all love a good bargain, but Merry Christmas does not involve blood sport. This is not the spirit we shared and said Amen to when we bowed our heads for grace before Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday.
It is definitely a crazy time. We’re grateful that our friend Tyrha flew out of Bangkok, Thailand the day before the airport was taken over by protestors. We are saddened by the attacks in Mumbai, India that at current count have left close to 200 dead and hundreds wounded. And the way companies have been going bankrupt and leaving people without jobs, pensions and healthcare, has everybody on edge. But let’s keep our heads and not take frustrations out on each other. It’s OK to do some shopping—even President-elect Obama is planning to do a little shopping with his family this weekend. But let’s remember the love, joy, caring and sharing that are at the heart of the season. At very least we can remember what our first grade teachers taught us—no pushing and shoving in line.