Good Will Toward Man?

When I turned on my television this morning to watch the news, I was saddened once again to see the droves of people screaming and dashing to the right, the left, pushing and pulling each other. It was massive mayhem from a coordinated effort. I edged down on to my couch and watched in wonder and horror.

No, the frenzied scene wasn't from another suicide bomber in Iraq, but the beginning of Black Friday here in the United States when shoppers pushed their way through the doors of a just-opened store. It was a matter of getting the first and best deals from the holiday season.

And, yes, I did watch in wonder and horror.

I wondered what kind of people stand outside in the cold for hours, waiting for a store to open; however, once the doors were unlocked, my wonder turned to horror to see the people stampede their way inside to snag some sale item that will be forgotten by next year. What kind of people are we that allow the commercial industry manipulate such unattractive behavior? Is the sale price worth the cost of losing one's dignity? Did these people dine on turkey yesterday while salivating in anticipation for today's discount?

Granted, I could use a deal. After all, I'm a writer and we know how that pays. Still, the idea of standing outside closed doors in the pitch-dark waiting for a store to open while mentally working out a strategy to be the first to get inside at the turn of the key saddens me. If only that same passion for a discount was directed somewhere more rewarding; if only people raced to help someone, whether it be a neighbor or stranger in need, as quickly as they race for a sale.

Oh, whom am I kidding? It's a new kind of holiday season. Good will toward man has been eclipsed by getting the best deal, no matter the cost.