What We Can Learn from Wal-Mart's Black Friday Tragedy

Bodies forced their way through the crowd, used their arms like shields and slowed only for seconds when lumps on the floor made them step higher. Hundreds of feet clamored in unison, as though serving one mind, mowing down a dozen, killing one--those annoying lumps that could cost people a flat screen t.v. or the two-dollar DVD of their favorite movie they just had to have, almost died for it.

Some even skipped Thanksgiving dinner to stand in line until the Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, New York, opened on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Sitting around a table eating and talking could be done anytime but a good place in line was hard to find. Later, electronics in hand, they learned one employee was dead for sure, but just one, and besides, that seemed long ago already and they said the pregnant woman was expected to be released from the hospital soon. And just what would you have done?

The causes of the tragedy are the unintended consequences of living in a free world, exacerbated by tough economic times. Not too many months back, we still believed that most of us were okay, carried debts yes, but okay, that we deserved happiness, that working hard would get us somewhere, that we could plan, reach our dreams, have things and bling--that we were somebody.

Without words, the lethality of the stampede of the Black Friday crowd said “Life’s not fair, I’ve been cheated, deprived, give me, fill me for now I’m no one.”

The cure is to breathe, look around, clasp the hand next to you and give order to what’s important to you in life. Things? Yes, we actually do need things like mementos of memories, a space and roof of safety and comfort that says this is me and ours, but just how many things does it take to fulfill that need. We’ve forgotten about people, pride and perspective. And we can’t get those with t.v.s and DVDs.

The evening news now shows ash in Mumbai or an accident on the road. The Black Friday tragedy is old, over. Time for different shock and awe. But we don’t have to change our private channel just yet. Before the year ends, try tuning in to these stations:

  1. Give food to the food bank.
  2. Donate forgotten clothes to the Salvation Army.
  3. Do someone a favor.
  4. Call a friend.
  5. List what you are thankful for.
  6. Forgive yourself for something.
  7. Pick one small thing about yourself that you’ve wanted to change and come up with a plan.
  8. Forgive someone else for something.
  9. Stand firm on something or with someone else.
  10. Remind yourself that you are someone, that you matter.

(This article first appeared on www.ideamasters.net)

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Author's Bio: 

LeslieBeth Wish is a Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker and author who is nationally recognized for her contributions to women, love, relationships, family, career, workplace, and organizations.

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