It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the USA, and after a holiday hopefully filled with family, gratitude, and a good meal, it feels like the country descends into a tasteless consumerist chaos today for Black Friday. Happily for me, our family escapes this madness and has celebrated Buy Nothing Day for many years.
I guess traditionally, people consider the holiday season to start right after Thanksgiving ends, and with an extra day off work, Friday was a good time to think about buying gifts. Retailers noticed this, of course, and started offering discounts to draw shoppers to their store instead of others. Capitalism and free markets took over and at some point we ended up with people fighting each other to get great deals on TVs and cheap consumer crap. Not only is it viscerally depressing, it portends a sad trend toward consumerism and disposability that makes me feel a bit grim about the future.
I don’t mean to be super negative today, but we can’t go on like this. We all know it, I think. But beyond not shopping today, what might positive change look like? Mitch, our Head of Customer Support, posted a link to this excellent article about Uruguay, and how along with top-down sustainability regulation, they’ve managed to foster a bottom-up culture of re-use and anti-consumerism. It’s not an example that will map directly to a country like the USA with 100 times the population, but it’s full of ideas and stories that might give us the energy to effect positive change in our own ways.
So no, with apologies, Modular Robotics doesn’t offer special deals or discounts or reasons to fight with your neighbors on the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday doesn’t fit with our values so we don’t participate. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and are able to spend some time this holiday season with people you love!