Over the holiday break I heard a radio spot from Marketplace Money on NPR. Understanding first of all that this brings the “you’re old, you listen to NPR” stereotype to full bore, I need to unpack something that an “expert” said regarding shopping and the holidays.
This expert insisted that Black Friday shows us that humans are hunter/gatherers.
“It is as if they got up and went out and shot the biggest animal they could and came back and shared it with the family. The stories of great conquests are sort of family history and family lore and people love it,” he says. “It’s a social, fun event.”
I don’t think he was kidding, he really thinks this. And this scares me. We remember most of human history and human cultures as hunter/gatherers becuase that is part of their legacy. That is how they survived. If they stopped hunting and gathering, they would die.
When we project importance to a deluge of shopping tricks and sales, we’re making that part of our cultural legacy. Please, for the love of good things, let’s not be defined by our ability to wait four days in the cold to get a TV for less money than normal. If that’s our legacy, what hope do we have for better things in the future?
It’s time to rewrite our story, beginning in our own lives and homes. Make a change, and don’t be defined by consumerism.