"The colors of a rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin' how do you do
They're really sayin'
I love you."
- From "What a Wonderful World" by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele
Imagine a new world where there is no rat race for getting and owning things and hence, no urge to buy and buy and buy. Imagine a world where money is not top priority and psychological tricks of marketing are irrelevant and dispensable -- thus, price tags would represent the true value of products, and would be the same all the time. There would not be a situation where prices fluctuate, so people would not be senselessly over-motivated on Black Friday to shop sales. People would not push each other over a toaster or a TV. Some clips from Black Friday look like they were taken in a war zone, and there's a website which counts the deaths and injuries related to Black Friday every year since 2006.
Thanksgiving is a holiday of graciousness, appreciation and gratitude. There is a cognitive dissonance in celebrating the spirit of graciousness of Thanksgiving, then watching aggression and hostility as shoppers fight one another for "deals" in these videos. I believe that our indifference to this phenomenon, year after year, as if it was natural, reflects on the values, determination and strength of our society. The question is whether or not we can still change it either by law, regulations or education. I'm talking about a real change of perspective regarding the implications of the psychological effect of extreme sales and celebrating Thanksgiving at the same time. What kind of dissonance is experienced by children who, the day after they learn about the meaning of Thanksgiving, go with their parents to the mall and watch them argue and push others over appliances?
I am sure the retailers could make as much profit if the sales were on a weekend in mid-December and then again after the beginning of January. Let's keep and preserve the spirit of Thanksgiving over the weekend of this holiday, letting friends and families share valuable quality time together in a relaxed atmosphere for three days without wondering what kind of opportunities they are missing in the mall.
This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with our women's conference, "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," which took place in New York on June 6, 2013. To read all of the posts in the series and learn more about the conference, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter #ThirdMetric.