Friday, November 28, 2008
There are a couple of American readers of this blog, but they may not get to today's posting for a while because they will be...SHOPPING! Actually, I don't know this for sure, but today, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. has become one of the biggest shopping events of the year. It's called Black Friday, which may sound negative but refers to the turning point for many businesses when they move from "the red" to "the black" in yearly profitability.
Some time ago the magazine Adbusters encouraged readers to make a countercultural statement by declaring this Buy Nothing Day. http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd The idea came from a Vancouver artist named Ted Dave. This concept has also been picked up in Great Britain where tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day, although the movement hasn't exactly taken the world by storm.
When Jesus speaks to us from the gospels he often encourages simplicity, and he models it as well. While our culture is supposedly based on Judeo-Christian values we have readily embraced consumerism. Even in an uncertain economy we will move relentlessly toward what has become a secularized consumer holiday rather than the celebration of the birth of a baby in a barn.
Do you think you could set aside a "buy nothing" day? How about reducing spending as a lifestyle choice? One blog reader decided to buy nothing new for six months last year after being inspired by an Oprah episode on de-cluttering. She was committed, but I seem to remember her falling off the wagon a few times. Simplifying our lives is hard! We think children are influenced by advertising, but adults enjoy the latest gadgets too.
Could locking up your credit cards be a faith statement? What choices have you made to simplify your life?