beyond black friday: nurturing relationships over materialism

beyond black friday: nurturing relationships over materialism
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“Truth be told, the Black Friday deals aren’t actually that good. Sure, they’re designed to look appealing in the newspaper’s FSI (free standing insert), but the flip side of that coin is that the deals are designed to get you to act on impulse. Retailers lure you in with a limited-time offer and coerce you into purchasing shit you don’t need by creating false scarcity.
You needn’t succumb to the pressure, though. If it’s worth buying on Friday, it’s likely worth buying in January, too. So you don’t need 40 reasons to avoid shopping on Black Friday. You need only one: you can have a much more meaningful holiday without ever extracting the plastic from your wallet.”
— Joshua Fields Millburn

Black Friday is upon us again today — an occasion when no matter where we look, millions of us run after things. Coming right after Thanksgiving, this consumerist tradition is nothing short of ironic: we instantly switch our focus from priceless relationships to less-price stuff, from experiencing contentment to putting mint, shiny contents in a shopping cart, from giving generously to borrowing shamelessly, from hospitality to hostility, and worse, from gratitude and thankfulness to whining and complaining about not getting what we desperately wanted. Wow, a complete 180, isn’t it?

Let’s face it: In the whirlwind of Black Friday, the world transforms into a bustling marketplace where hordes of people chase after the next big deal. It's a day when shopping carts become chariots, and discounts act as sirens luring us into a sea of consumerism. However, amidst the chaos, it's essential to reflect on the true purpose of our purchases and the impact they have on our relationships.

The best deal during this holiday, in my humble opinion, is to save 100% of your time, energy, and money and put them to good use by refusing to participate in this craziness.

Often, we find ourselves swept away in the shopping frenzy, making impulsive decisions driven by the desire to impress others. A special Friday, instead of being a celebration of relationships, can turn into a quest to buy affection, compensate for our absence, or merely to boost our self-esteem with the fleeting thrill of a purchase.

But do we really need material possessions to strengthen our connections? The answer is a resounding no. If our relationships hinge on the exchange of material goods, we might need to reconsider the foundation of those connections. True prosperity in relationships comes not from the things we buy, but from the time, attention, and presence we invest in the people we cherish.

Imagine a world where the emphasis shifts from the material to the meaningful. Instead of showering loved ones with extravagant gifts to win their love, we could focus on spending quality time together. In the end, it's the shared moments, laughter, and genuine conversations that build lasting bonds.

Letting go of the notion that gifts define our relationships is liberating. It's a recognition that our connections are richer when rooted in authentic emotions and shared experiences. Rather than measuring love by the price tag of a present, we should measure it by the depth of understanding, compassion, and support we offer each other.

This Black Friday, let's challenge the consumerist norm and redefine the way we express affection. Consider opting for gifts that hold sentimental value or investing time in creating personalized tokens of appreciation. A homemade meal, a handwritten letter, or a day spent together can be far more meaningful than any store-bought item.

Let this Black Friday serve as a reminder to shift our focus from the material to the immaterial, from the tangible to the intangible. Relationships thrive not on the things we accumulate but on the moments we share. As we navigate the sea of discounts and promotions, let's anchor ourselves in the true essence of connection—love, understanding, and the gift of time.