Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happiness is...

“Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from the store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”

“26 Billion was spent today…” Local news, immediately followed by stories of shootings and a lady pepper spraying people at a walmart or deals.

I got up around 8 and started cleaning on Black Friday, convinced to try to make my own Friday holiday. I ended up donating 3 bags of clothes and shoes. Don’t get me wrong I liked looking at the ads the night before. I still appreciate the concept of designing some of these really cool and useful new things (side note: I am stoked to get through a skymall magazine tomorrow as I fly back to DSM, and was excited for my brother to get what looks to a wonderful new phone)

The night before, as people were starting to line up at the stores I was in my bed. I laughed my girlfriend on the phone. I read a little bit. I worked on homework. I cleaned. I tried to do as many things as possible that either got rid of junk or did not produce it. We listened to Christmas music as a family and went out to eat.

My mom and brother went out early black Friday to do some errands (like getting glasses fixed while home from college) and shopping. (They got me a watch, which I am thankful for.) They said it wasn’t terribly hectic at 6am, probably because people had stayed up. We debated what would be the effects? Will stores stay open, forcing workers to leave their families on the holiday, and then maybe close at 2am next year? Will workers continue to rebel as target employees did? What burden are we willing to put on others for minimum wage so we can save some money on a tv?

What happens to all the other stuff, the old tvs, the not as new phones? (google 60minutes e-waste if you want to see.)

I don’t know if true happiness comes from stuff. I am truly happy thankful for my family, my friends, my experiences with them. Drake means the world to me, not because of what I have learned from a book, but because of the people I have met, the places I have been, and the professors who have honestly taken me under wing, hell-bent on teaching me useful things and new ways to wrestle with issues. These are things we can’t wake up to shop for, these are things which can’t come from a store.

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