It is not necessary to live this way.
There are many other ways to live.
Today I will enjoy a long walk with the dog, I will do some writing, listen to some good music, enjoy the company of my wife and be in touch with our children. The eldest is visiting his friends in Britain. The next is with his friends in Virginia. And the youngest is in Chicago with his friends.
One works for an inner city anti poverty agency.
One is devoted to great literature, particularly the mastery of Shakespeare.
The third sings for an internationally renowned acapella singing group.
Living as an ethical presence, on behalf of the poor, delving into the human condition through the literary corpus, and singing exquisite music....ah, these are the things that satisfy something profound in the human soul.
Much is missing in the human soul if it does not satisfy itself with something a bit more profound than crashing the doors at Walmart.
As for me and my family, we shall search for something more. Something to satisfy the soul.
Thanksgiving is not "for" anything. I am certainly not thankful that I am rich in things. I have enough and am giving away much of what I have accumulated through the years.
No, Thanksgiving is a way of life. Gratitude is simply the manifestation of a heart that finds in life all that is uplifting and especially on behalf of those who had been laid low.
The American worship of the Almighty Dollar has much to learn.
This Black Friday is black indeed. Especially when it blackens the soul with nothing more than the frenzy of shopping.
Black Friday is black indeed when it exploits the worker with a minimum wage that keeps working people working harder and falling further into poverty.
The Pope is quite right in calling this a modern form of idolatry.
"THANKS-TAKING" is a very long way from Thanksgiving.