It amazes me how we can go from sitting at a table filled with food and maybe even uttering a prayer of Thanksgiving to accompany it, to frenzied madmen all within a matter of hours. In some cases minutes because of the sales that began last night.
No wonder we can't get our country straightened out. We can't even get ourselves straightened out.
First we have Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on our good fortune. For those who have less communities band together to see that they too are able to partake. You see bags of groceries in the stores for $20 that go to the poor if you're willing to purchase them in addition to your own needs. And people do. Plus tossing a few coins in the Bell Ringer's pot. Turkey drives. Clothing drives. Next will come the food and gift drives for Christmas. Or the holidays, or whatever you want to call it.
Yet during a one day interlude so many of us succumb to greed. The Black Friday sales these days don't even have the best prices. They come closer to Christmas or were actually about a month ago. Yet the table is left in haste so we can spell whoever has been place holding at Wal*Mart or Best Buy or where ever or merely join the throngs waiting for the doors to open.
After all, we've got to get that big screen TV or the newest iPhone. No gifts for the poor today. Maybe tomorrow.
This scene repeats itself year after year. Sleep deprived people get maimed, sometimes even trampled. They treat one another with unspeakable rudeness. It's a wonder any escape from a store with undamaged goods considering the way the merchandise is tossed around or rooted through.
It's like that dinner a few hours earlier never happened. Certainly the sentiment disappeared. A rational person might blame it on the shaky economy; it's a time to get a good deal and can't be missed. The truth is this seasonal madness happens regardless of the economy.
It's strange, this set of holiday bookends. A day of thanksgiving on one end and a day of peace on earth, good will toward men on the other. It's that one day in between that makes me wonder just who we are.