Acting a fool in America

Here in America, yesterday was considered Black Friday - the first official shopping day of the Christmas season. Despite a trying economy, shoppers lined up at malls across the country to get the best deals. Yesterday was also one of the few days of the year grown adults act like they weren't raised with any sense.

From CNN:

A temporary Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death Friday in a rush of thousands of early morning shoppers as he attempted to unlock the doors of a Valley Stream, New York, store at 5 a.m., police said.

The man was 34 and lived in Queens, said Nassau County police Detective Lt. Michael Fleming. Authorities did not release his name.

"This was utter chaos as these men tried to open the door this morning," Fleming said.

In California, two people were killed in a shooting at a Toys 'R' Us in Palm Desert, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. The shooting occurred about 11:36 a.m. (2:36 p.m. ET), authorities said. Police did not release the victims' ages or gender.

In New York, video footage showed as many as a dozen people knocked to the floor in the stampede of people trying to get into the Wal-Mart store, Fleming said. The employee was "stepped on by hundreds of people" as other workers attempted to fight their way through the crowd, Fleming said.

"Several minutes" passed before others were able to clear space around the man and render some aid. Police arrived, and "as they were giving first aid, those police officers were also jostled and pushed," he said.

"Shoppers ... were on a full-out run into the store," he said.

...A 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital, he said, but "I'm happy to report she did not miscarry, and the baby is going to be OK." The woman was to be released from the hospital Friday, he said...

(BTW, what is up with the U.S. media spending more time on foolish American shoppers than on theterrorist attacks in India? More on this from me later...)

These kinds of incidents makes one wonder about how humanity has resorted to such resounding disrespect for itself. Christmas is "suppose" to be about charity and doing good for each other, however, due to ever-growing materialism in this country, Americans have lost all common sense and have become the opposite examples of what the holiday season represents.

We need to get back to respectful values in this country. One way of doing this is by participating in Buy Nothing Day, an international celebration of anti-consumerism.

Also, instead of buying your another usefull sweather, an alternative to traditional gift-giving is to donate money to a worthy nonprofit on behalf of your loved ones. There are many international nonprofits doing good work on behalf of the less fortunate that I have donated to in the past, including Oxfam and Heifer International.

However, sometimes charity starts at home, and the economy has struck local nonprofits the hardest that we should also support. Many social services that we depend on in our communities, such as homeless shelters, youth centers, food pantries, domestic violence relief homes, English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, HIV/AIDS hospices, substance abuse counseling centers and unemployment/job training organizations, are suffering the most because less people are donating to them this season.

So, if you go to the mall the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, please remember what this holiday season is really about.

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At Saturday, November 29, 2008 1:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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