Holy Day: Black Friday

The holy day or holiday is upon us.  Say all you can about Christmas, Hanukah, Thanksgiving and the rest; the heavy weight American holiday is Black Friday.

To attract worshippers on this holiest of shopping days everyone rolls out the trimmings.  Walmart rolls stock around (you noticed it’s all on rollers, right?) to make lanes where you stand in line longer than for a ride at Six Flags over Botswana to pay for their must-have treasure.

In fact, just as with Christmas where we push the celebration into the day before and name it Christmas Eve, Black Friday deals start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.  Isn’t it great?  Otherwise those poor sales clerks would be stuck at home eating with family, being thankful, and watching this year’s football version of Everybody Hates Dallas!

And like other religious rites, Black Friday’s millions of devotees have a special designation conferred on them: consumers.  You know, like pigs and other species gobbling up everything without being sated.  “Consumers”.  Our economy would be kaput without them!  This holy day is for you!

Please enjoy places for you to commune with manufactured things in the aisles and end caps!  These cardboard worship spots spring up to enable our most sacred transaction: impulse buying!  Staying home?  Our online, private worship version begs your attention in the page margins you’re viewing, but wait!  Google puts what you looked at online in the past weeks in the margin: that last nudge you need to click “Put in Cart”!

It does not matter your creed, ethnicity, or gender!  We can all fight over that last toy, apparel item equally, all hoping to consume that most wonderful possibility: something new to me!

But wait there is more!  If your consuming can wait a few days, then you can be overcome with the chills of “Winter Clearance” that runs through the twelve days of Christmas!

Enough cynicism.  I have to go put what I want on Amazon for my family to get it right this year.

The Route Versus Routine

Another semester begins.  It is fall, so academia calls it a new year. 

I have 80 students in two classes, 70 and 11.  I am scrambling to learn names and faces.  Then in my online class I have almost half of it filled with serving military members around the world. 

I teach to give back.  I owe this country and God quite a lot, so I teach to give back. 

That is a cover.  I really teach because I have not grown weary of seeing a face light up with hope.  I relish eyes sparkling for the first time in a class as much as when I was in my twenties and they were my eyes. 

I smile to see someone move from a slouch to upright posture, to actually leaning in because the exchange in class has more than pricked his interest. 

Over the next few weeks these students will learn about themselves, about courage, about others, about how thinking sharpens your edge in business.  They will start to see that Creativity is a lifelong work of consistently overcoming never ending challenges — and will still choose to embark on that route. 

I have a few of them messaging and texting now so that they can ask questions about businesses and ideas for businesses.  I am behind in responding. 

This Route is not as easy as I might have chosen.  Jill and I have visited the brink of financial collapse and ruin more times than I care to count — and we are fiscally very conservative. 

So Faith whispers that the Route is demanding, scary, exciting, and beautiful in its turns and twists and that the Route is far, far better than the Routine or its abbreviated form: the Rut. 

Just a thought as I catch my breath, and “I have miles to go before I sleep.”   And THAT is part of the fun — creative people are dear friends, even if they like Frost and a host of other Creative souls have finished their Routes here on this plane of existence.