A Black Friday Challenge

Black Friday will soon be here, the season of cooking and cleaning, decorating and shopping. While I love the holidays, I am not a fan of Black Friday. Black Friday is the day that leads to the holiday season, but to me, Black Friday is the least Christmas-y day of the year.

Years ago, I thought Black Friday was kind of fun, a day of shopping with family, eating out, just being together. But back then, stores didn’t open at three a.m., or on Thanksgiving Day. Back then, it was just a regular shopping day with built-in deals.

Today, it seems Black Friday has turned into more commercialism than I ever could have imagined. People climb over one another to buy the hottest new movie, and fight one another to get the latest toy.

I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way about Black Friday, like the clerks in the stores who have been up all night, the people who missed family time to stock merchandise, and even the shoppers who attend this crazy event – they don’t always appear to be in the best of moods.

Kind of like the men I saw a few years ago.

***

It was four in the morning. I stood in one of two long lines leading into an electronic store, shivering as I held tight to a cup of coffee. At the head of each line was a young man, glaring intently at one another. Finally, one spoke up.

“I was here first.”

“No, I was,” said the other. Like two little kids fighting over a swing, both determined to be the first in the store.

They began to yell and curse, and soon, fists were flying. Even when the large glass doors swung open, the men continued to fight. It was the craziest scene I’d ever seen.

Inside, it wasn’t much better. People pushed, grabbed, and yelled for others to get out of their way. As I stood to the side of one of the quieter aisles, the hand of an elderly woman hit my back, sending me into a large stack of boxes.

It was shocking, and dare I say, disappointing as well. If it hadn’t been for two kind strangers who took time to lend a hand, offer a smile, and say a few kind words, I would have lost my faith in humanity that day.

Those two people changed me, not just my view on Black Friday, but my view on society. I discovered how simple it is to change a life, how easy it is to affect another’s world.

It’s easy to lend a hand, if we dare to take the time. It takes seconds to offer a smile. One kind word can change a life.

I’m not against Black Friday, and who knows, I may still go out this year (though it will be long after the crowds die down). But this year, I’m challenging myself. I’m going to be a better shopper, not just Black Friday, but every day.

I’ll smile, say a few kind words, offer a hand when someone needs it.

I can’t change the world. But maybe, just maybe, I can change the world of one person.

Will you join me in my challenge?

Feel free to share this with others! Let’s change as many worlds as we can.

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