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Mankind Was My Business


“Mankind was my business; . . . charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all, my business.”
I scanned past the many videos on social media of people fighting over things during Black Friday sales. People elbowed others to claim televisions or rice cookers. They trampled each other and wrestled dolls and video games out of outstretched hands, then they laughed derisively as they headed for the checkout counters.
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The term Black Friday has a long history –before it came to represent the big sales day after Thanksgiving where stores vie with each other to attract sales, it used to refer to the Wall Street Crash of the 1860’s. It all has to do with money and economics.  Merchants willingly go into the “black” to meet sales quotas, but don’t let that fool you. If done right, they do not lose any money. They make up any loss by selling in volume, and often, once customers have been lured into their store, they buy other items.        
I think we should take the evolution of the word Black Friday one step further. It shows how black-hearted we’ve become. We elbow, trample, and wrestle each other in pursuit of “things.” We act worse than the fictional Ebenezer Scrooge.  
“Mankind was my business; . . . charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all, my business.”
I confess. I’ve ventured out a couple of times on Black Friday to try and get a doll mentioned on a child’s Christmas list or to get a nicer gift for my husband than the usual tie or flannel shirt, but I’ve never debased myself to score a buy.
It’s difficult to be kind and merciful and tolerant and loving when Christmas shopping has become so impersonal, so rude, but things should never replace our humanity.

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