By Rhyan Henson
Hours after millions of Americans peacefully eat a large Thanksgiving meal with family and friends— a meal that is supposed to symbolize what each individual is thankful for— they become an angry mob.
Every year, the news, first hand stories, YouTube videos and Twitter trends spread the most infamous stories of Black Friday. Anually, hordes of overly obsessed shoppers scratch and gnaw in order to get their hands on a prized item that has been marked down.
This year, an estimated 97 million people shopped on Black Friday, according to ABC.com. Of that lot, there was one death and 15 injuries reported according to blackfridaydeathcount.com, a website set up to track the deaths and injuries that occur during the opening day of the holiday season.
Based on the stories heard and seen, there could have been another thousand who suffered injuries that were just not reported.
It is disgraceful how easily people can be transformed from loving family members to animals willing to do anything just so they can get the best bargain. Watching and hearing some of the most egregious stories, I am amazed that more people are not injured.
How can the aspects of thankfulness and generosity be so easily be forgotten?
247 million shoppers visited stores during the opening weekend of the holiday season in 2012, according to the Huffington Post. Instead of storming the gates of popular stores, people should stop and think to use compassion and generosity. After all, it is the season of giving. If people really wanted to live up to the name of the season they would volunteer their time, money or both toward helping people who does not have the luxury to give.
In 2012, the average shopper spent $423 on holiday gifts during the holiday season. If every one of those 247 million shoppers donated the change in their pocket to a charitble cause, those less fortunate could benefit greatly from it.
The holiday season is a season of giving. Giving others something more than a black eye as one sprints to the best deal would show a true meaning of what this time of year is about.