23 words: [Words of Hope in a Black Friday World.]

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth. (Rumi)

This post is creating itself. I just copy & pasted the quote and noticed that there are 23 words to the above sentence. 23 is a magical number for me, its the day of my son’s birth, of course DNA, plus more in ways I have yet to comprehend completely. It seemed appropriate to name this post after the mystery, magic, and coincidence.

I thought of this quote recently when some discussion regarding “Black Friday” came up in my family, and community. I have many friends who are very passionate about changing the world we live in to be more peaceful, loving, and mindful in our practices that affect our environment (read: basically everything about our daily lives.) In all honesty, this quote has come up for me a number of times when in circles discussing philosophy, evolution, health, and other parallel subjects.

The other day when my partner and I were reading through comments posted on an event page created for Black Friday in my hometown via a facebook (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=168743023145745) this quote rang through to me again.

The event had planned a bike ride to the mall where participants would dress up like zombies or other artistic expressions of “mindless consumption.” On the page, an argument was made that the “Man” pulls on our “puppet strings” and we buy on such a day. Hence the term, “mindless consumer” being used. Another statement was made that it isn’t always about mindless consuming, that there is a “need” since money is low, and certain items are on sale that normally aren’t. In this specific scenario, it was a pair of gloves. I think, maybe this man needed his gloves to ride his bike to school or work and to be a happier person in his personal endeavor in changing the world. He needed them out of LOVE for himself, and who knows who else directly, and furthermore, indirectly.

I was initially excited when I first saw the event, as I had been thinking about what I could do to affect the consciousness of my fellow Boiseans in our consumeristic nature. I knew it wasn’t for me because of the combative tone to this particular advocacy. To me, it is the same energy that the “Man” is using to try to tame/control/sway another person. I believe if we are to make any change we need to inspire another person, through our own actions moreso than words, and let it plant a seed inside of another person.

Change comes from within. Therefor, I fully believe that if we are to change the world, it is through joy, love, and celebration making another person WANT to change. Guilt and shaming some one to change are just going to push unconscious actions into another avenue in my humble opinion. This is not what any of us want. We all want and need to WAKE UP!

Which is an extremely large peice of humble pie for us all right now. Including yours truly. We need to be kind to ourselves and each other. We are growing, we are learning, and we are in this together.

My particular vision for Black Friday is to have a re-purposed dance party in front of the main entrances to the mall. Local and global music, repurposed fashion and costumes, and street performances. These things would draw interest yet would not necessary communicate the entire message overall. Hence, some form of communication (signs/fliers) would be necessary. It is imperative to educate others in order to instill change as well. Which I believe was the primary intention for the “Buy Nothing Day” event.

In closing, I think that by letting the beauty of what we love (living freely through repurposing and other “green” practices and intentional uses of resources) be what we do. We can accept others by understanding that there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

I would like for us all to start envisioning that we are not as asleep and stupid as we have been told to believe. I can not think that every person that participated in Black Friday doesn’t think about farming, eating organic foods, recycling, carpooling or think critically. Granted, we do have A LOT of ground to cover (literally & figuratively) but if we accept that Americans are clueless as our truth, we will make it so.

I am positive that a decent percentage of the consumers in my home-town have had seeds of awareness being dropped into their consciousness. I know it has had to even hit West Boise on some level, because we are not separate from the whole. It is after all beginning to pop up more commonly in our culture through shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, and of course James Cameron’s version of Avatar as well. Not to mention health practices like acupuncture and yoga becoming more and more mainstream.

Maybe if we live joyfully, and most importantly out LOUD and OPENLY with a sense of forgiveness (for ourselves and our brethren) everyday, that maybe next year, even more of our city will notice the changes. Especially when they’re gettin buzzed by bass and re-purposed hot pants as they try to enter Macy’s through a facade of ecstatic dancers.

Who’s with me!? 😉


PS. final word count 882 sans this “PS.”


One thought on “23 words: [Words of Hope in a Black Friday World.]

  1. Holy HUGE post, Heidi. I’ll admit I didn’t make it through all 882 words, I think I probably read something close to 23X10 of them, but…I’m with you! When I look through some of the magazines that make it to my mailbox filled with “stuff” sometimes I catch myself thinking, “I need that.” Then, I always go, ‘Wait. Do I really need it, or just want it?’ Its always want. One of the most annoying things about Christmas is getting stuff I don’t need from people I love and waiting about six months to find someone to give it to or …gasp… throw it away. I think if we all stopped consuming so much, we’d all be a LOT happier. There are better things to invest yourself (and your money) in than THINGS! 🙂 Love you, Jae(i)mama

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