Black Friday


I’m writing this on the infamous Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving where multitudes of Americans lose their minds in shopping frenzy. I myself don’t partake in the event, and find the whole thing a bit on the creepy side, but don’t blame those brave souls who choose to fight the crowds. Who am I to judge the parent who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford gifts for their kids unless they did? I just wonder why it has to be this horrible, stressful event.

The thing that gets to me is when you hear about grown (supposed) adults who revert to behavior that’s lower than any of our primate cousins would exhibit. The fighting, pushing, and sometimes tragic violence is beyond bizarre considering the reason behind this season of giving. Now I’m not Christian, but I do enjoy celebrating Christmas, and I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Jesus had in mind when he said, Ask and it will be given to you;  search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. Not, “Go forth and pummel someone to get the best deal at Walmart.” 

Unfortunately the materialistic mindset that we’ve been handed through the media and corporate messaging has perpetuated this mess, and it’s up to us to hand it back. How? Through conscious giving. And when I say “conscious” I don’t mean that little Sally can’t have the Easy Bake Oven® or Tonka Truck® she wants, and instead has to be happy with a donation to Save the (Fill-in-the-Blank) in her name, but that we understand the motivation behind what we give and that we teach these same principles to our children. Giving Sally what she wants so she won’t be a brat is just going to make her more of a brat. But if giving Sally that Tonka Truck® for being a generally good kid feels good to you, then that’s a whole different story. Though the occasional gift of Save the (Fill-in-the-Blank) in her name doesn’t hurt either, just sayin’.

And what about those kids whose parents are out there pushing and shoving and exhibiting bad behavior in pursuit of the all-mighty bargain? What kind of adults are they breeding? My hope is that they eventually find some understanding of what they are doing. All we can do is start with ourselves by increasing awareness, and let it serve as a way to get back to the point of giving: joy.

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From Over There:
“Motivation behind giving is more important than the gift itself. It is important to acknowledge why it is that one gives to another at certain times or during certain situations. To give may represent an actual article, or it may be giving of time, or of advice, or of a compliment. Regardless of what is given, ask yourself why it is you give. Ask yourself if it is simply for the joy of giving, or from the desire to be accepted, or for manipulation. Whatever the reason know this, the intent behind the giving is imprinted on the gift. The receiver receives the intent along with the gift. This is why at times when a gift is received – although it may appear pleasant – it does not bring joy to the receiver.” 

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Featured Guest: Barry Perlman
Barry Perlman (astrobarry) is an intuitive astrologer who’s been counseling clients from around the world for over a decade. Since 2002, he has shared his astrological wisdom on his website, www.astrobarry.com, where thousands of visitors enjoy his weekly “horoscopes that keep it real” and other writings. Barry has appeared in The New York Times, on the CBS Evening News, and on radio in the US and Australia. His horoscopes have appeared in Sydney-based FAMOUS Magazine, The Livingston Weekly, and on BettyConfidential.com. He is also co-owner of The Sacred Well, a metaphysical shop in Oakland, CA. He lives in San Francisco with his partner and his lovable 90-lb. mutt JoJo.

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