I have mixed feelings about Black Friday. You know, the day after Thanksgiving that is supposed to be the busiest shopping day of the year, bringing merchants income from the hordes of shoppers looking for that special deal. I am all for stimulating the economy and decreasing the jobless rate by increasing the manufacturing and sales sector. And I am the first in line to support Small Business Saturday, designed to encourage shoppers tomorrow, Thursday the 26th, to buy from local, small, home grown companies. As I have said in other blog pieces, small businesses are the backbone of our economy. To neglect them and put unnecessary regulation and tax on them invites economic disaster.
However, buying things does not equal true happiness. I am in agreement with my friend and social media guru, Jamie Morgan, and will boycott today’s celebration of consumerism. Simplicity of life, valuing people including family and friends and nature around us as well as developing a relationship with God is what I feel brings authentic contentment. Accumulating money and toys may bring an immediate exciting rush, but too often this is short-lived, leaving the person empty and focused on his next material purchase. This can be similar to what is seen in the brain of a drug addict when looking at brain studies called PET scans. Satisfying the addicts’ craving temporarily brings pleasure through the release of dopamine, but once the stimulation has subsided, his craving starts anew, and is usually more intense than before.
We all need the necessities of life to survive…..this is not debatable. But to put material accumulation as the reason for our existence is irrational because it ultimately makes us empty and unsatisfied…Richard R Samuel, MD Family Practice and Urgent Care