Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Land of The Free and The Home of The Selfish

Today I experienced something very new and eye opening. Today is the day after Thanksgiving which means that it’s “Black Friday,” I just discovered why people call it that. I woke up at 4:30, yes in the morning, to go with my mom to Walmart in search of Christmas presents. Why, you might ask, did I decide to take on this clearly insane task? Well, I wasn’t quite sure at first myself but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it’s one of those life-threatening things kind of like bungee jumping or sky diving that you have to experience at least once before you die. Anyway, we arrived at Walmart about ten minutes before 5 and the parking lot was, needless to say, completely packed. I walked in to see a very bizarre sight. All around the store were strategically placed pallets full of electronics, toys, cookware, and just about any other needless thing you could think of. Surrounding these pallets were herds, yes herds because they were more animal like then human, of people waiting until the precise moment at which they could pounce on their new found boxes of fleeting happiness. The moment that the Walmart sales associate came by and gave them the “OK” to go, the hoard sprung into action; yelling, grabbing, clawing, elbowing, and cursing their way to fill their baskets with more and more stuff. I stood and watched in utter amazement. How spoiled we are! I’ve seen children in Mexico act the same way over food; you know, the stuff that keeps them alive, and here we are fighting over another TV to add to the three already in our homes or another gaming system because ours is “SO outdated.” It’s sad really. People angrily shuffled out of line when they didn’t get exactly what they came for in the time period they have set aside. I couldn’t help but find myself getting frustrated. It appalls me that we are so selfish! No wonder other countries see us Americans as selfish, stuck-up, stiff-necked, arrogant people… it’s what we are! We wonder why America is in an economic crisis but you wouldn’t know it if you had walked into Walmart today. It seems as though we still have enough money to spend on more stuff to clutter up our huge houses with hot and cold running water and indoor plumbing. We will complain about how the government is doing nothing to fix this problem but at the same time we’re out to lunch charging it to our credit cards and racking up more and more debt. The problem isn’t our country; the problem is our citizens. I think that if every American citizen spent a week living at an orphanage in a foreign country there would be no economic crisis. I think that if we actually got it through our thick skulls how privileged we are we might actually do something for someone other than ourselves. We say “God bless America” but in all actuality I think He looks down on us, sheds a tear, and says, “I was hungry but you did not feed me; I was naked but you did not clothe me; I was sick but you did not help me.”