Monday, November 30, 2009
My Black Friday Rant 2009 in honor of the motion picture "Shake Hands with the Devil" based upon the book, life experience, and documentary of Canadian Lt.-General (ret.) Romeo Dallaire. See this link for the 2010 upcoming movie:
"I've seen the horrible events of this and many past Black Fridays and was again sickened at the degradation of our society. Masses at a New York WalMart trample a man to death and seriously injure a pregnant woman so I repeat my message from a couple of years ago...
Then I saw something too horrible. The day after Thanksgiving is commonly known as "Black Friday" the biggest shopping day of the year. I avoid all stores on this day. Words cannot convey to you how I feel about this particular day of hyper sales and secularism for a season meant for "Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men".
Returning to my story...I awoke with all convictions in tact and ready to avoid all stores. As I was getting ready for the day and going through my morning routine (which includes watching CNN,BBC World News and a little CSPAN) when the first camera images of Black Friday unfolded. Scenes of men, women and children being beaten, trampled and mauled! All in the name of the latest toy orXBOX! I literally had to rewind the TV to make sure that I wasn't watching some third world country fighting for freedom from oppression. Unfortunately, I was not.
When did "stuff" or mere possessions become more important to us than humanity? The images of Black Friday's pushing and trampling reminded me of images from a documentary I saw on Rwanda called, Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire. 'This documentary follows Canadian Lt.-General (ret.) Romeo Dallaire as he relives the horrific events that unfolded while he commanded the United Nations peacekeeping mission (1994) in Rwanda where more than 800,000 men, women and children were brutally murdered'. Do any of you remember 1994? Maybe you remember the "OJ Trial"; it aired simultaneously while genocide raged in Rwanda. Horrible isn't it? (And lest you think I live in a glass house...) I am ashamed to say that I vaguely remember something about Rwanda but could never imagine the horror I saw in this film. Yes, like many of you, I remember more of OJ's court proceedings than of any world events in 1994. The tragic rub is that this kind of genocide is happening again..In Darfur, Sri Lanka, and Somalia.
Here in America, many of us believe that if this kind of a tragedy would never happen here. But, you know what? It is. When we put the love of things before the love of our fellow men we are killing our souls. The genocide of our souls! It makes us numb to those things that are truly important. We don't need things to make us happy. Please try something new for yourselves this year. Don't buy gifts for your friends and family at Christmas, Channukah, Kwanza, or whatever holiday you are planning to celebrate. Instead make a charitable contribution to www.savedarfur.org in the name of the person you wish to gift; or if you feel you must buy a gift for someone then buy RED this year and find out how at www.joinred.com/red.asp ; volunteer at a soup kitchen, a women's shelter, or a veteran's hospital. Just do something!Do it unconditionally and you will change someone's life. You will also give yourself and your children the greatest gift ever known--service. Service to your fellow man will lighten any burden you may have. It is paying it forward and everyone needs that.
Still doubt me?
Many people say, "such and such change my life!" I never quite understood what they meant until I saw this film. It changed the way I think, hear and see all life. Please watch it and don't just gift this year, "gift" back. A very wise man once said, "that those who seek they're lives shall lose them, but those who lose their lives, for my sake, shall find them". Lose your life in service to your fellow men this season and find out who you really are!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all of God's children!"
--Black Friday 2008