People are really angry. They are fed up and yelling about it. I see posts every day in social media demanding boycotts of businesses who decide to be open for shopping on Thanksgiving day.
They say these businesses are interfering with families spending time together. They are making unreasonable demands on employees. They have no values.
What if there was another way to look at this? What if we spent less time judging others and focused on our own personal responsibility and values? What might that look like?
Are you willing to consider it for a moment? I mean let’s be real here…
People shop on Thanksgiving or the stores wouldn’t be open. People shop on Thanksgiving because they want to. Nobody is holding a gun to their head and saying, “You must go shopping now or die.” Perhaps shopping is a family event full of fun, laughter and excitement for them. Or maybe they just don’t like their family and want to get away – it happens.
And come on…just because a family is sitting home together doesn’t mean they are hangin’ out singing kumbaya. I see an awful lot of families out and about who are on their phones or whatever and not engaged at all with each other. I’m sure it is no different at home. If a family values family time, a store being open isn’t going to prevent that. They will make it a priority in their lives. If they don’t want to spend time with their loved ones, they won’t – whether the stores are open or not.
Employees don’t HAVE to work on Thanksgiving. It is a choice. I know many would say they don’t have a choice…jobs are scarce…need the money…there are lots of reasons we give ourselves to justify our choices…they are still our choices. If you work for someone who’s values don’t align with yours, quit. Find another job.
And why so much focus on Thanksgiving? Every day is an opportunity to connect with those you love. Remember that. There is no drama needed around one day when you have 364 still available. Focus on those days and make sure they count.
At the end of the day, let’s not blame a store choosing to be open on a “family holiday” as the reason families are falling apart all around us. Remember, nobody does anything unless it works for them. Stores are open because they are choosing the almighty dollar and it works for them. Shoppers are embracing sales because they are choosing the almighty dollar and it works for them and if someone stays in a job that doesn’t align with their values and beliefs because they need the money, they are doing the same thing because it works for them.
I believe it is Joseph Campbell who said the world is screwed up and it will always be screwed up. He said it is not our job to fix it but rather to fix our own lives. That is our only job…to fix our own lives. I know that people have made a difference in the world by taking a stand and speaking to the masses. I’ve seen the power of collective consciousness and all it can do. But let’s keep this in perspective…we aren’t talking about a civil rights issue…it’s a shopping issue. I’m torn a bit by what Joseph Campbell says because I see both sides of the coin. Where I land each time I visit the rabbit hole on this subject is this…
We make the greatest difference for our loved ones and for the world by taking care of ourselves. ..by doing what is right for us. Showing up in the world the way you want the world to be is the only way to truly make change happen. Just ask Ghandi. Every time we point a finger, there are three pointing back at us. Finger pointing serves no purpose whatsoever. Blaming is simply a way of not taking personal responsibility for our own actions. Just live in a way that you feel good about…a way that works for you. Your actions will ripple out and give others the courage to do the same…you don’t need to say a word….you simply need live.
As for me, I’m not going shopping on Thanksgiving because I value other things and those values will dictate my day. And the retail industry isn’t the only industry where people have to work on Thanksgiving. My daughter works at a hotel and has to work for part of Thanksgiving. Instead of getting angry, we just adjusted meal time. Problem solved. I don’t care what the stores do…it doesn’t impact me because I make choices that are aligned with my values. It’s really that simple. Life is much easier when you live by your values.
Will you choose to live by yours?
PS Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with peace, love and joy.