Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

Come together for Thanksgiving

On Thursday of next week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.

Traditionally, it is the day to give thanks as the Pilgrims did way back in 1621. For college students, it means a short break before the final climb to finals week. For others, it means that winter is fast approaching. For some, the coming of Thanksgiving means that Black Friday is here.

To those unfamiliar with American culture, Black Friday may sound like a holy day. Not quite. Here in America we have this little unofficial name for the day after Thanksgiving, and it hasn’t got the slightest bit to do with religion.

On this day after Thanksgiving, people tend to come out in droves to go shopping because the stores put many of their products on sale.

What exactly happens on the Friday morning following this day of thanks? Imagine the Running of the Bulls. Only there are no bulls, just people. All of these people attempt to charge into a store at the same time. The result is chaos.

What happens is that there are products on sale all over. People try to save money and make a purchase for a good price. The idea is sound. Buy something when it is on sale. If you’re an economist, this may look good too. You get the market place going really good with all of this business. It is capitalism at its best.

However, the timing is off and the manner in which this all occurs is off. First, I will tackle the latter issue. I decided to see how Black Friday operated a few years back. I got there nice and early and waited for the doors to open. It was chaos in motion.

The scene inside that store was like a pack of wolves in a chicken coop. People were rushing left and right, paying no mind to anyone but themselves. It was truly “survival of the fittest”. Arguments on who grabbed what item first, arguments on who got to that check-out aisle first, rude “get out of the ways!” from people pushing shopping carts like their lives depended on it.

I didn’t buy anything that morning. While being out at that hour of the morning didn’t bother me, about the only thing I really enjoyed about that morning was watching the sun rise.

Then, there is the issue of timing for Black Friday. The fact that made the above experience almost comical was the timing. To think that these same people who were ready to do their best Rocky impression on the person that had cut in front of them were people that had been giving thanks not 24 hours prior.

This is not going to change, though. In our America society, change is very slow to come about. It is even slower to be accepted. So, Black Friday will remain as is.

With that thought in mind, I think we need a little reminder on what is important. To put some things in perspective, how dumb does it look and sound when you see the number of people were injured or killed on Black Friday? Does it strike anyone as bizarre that we have a casualty report for a day of shopping? Does it strike anyone as ironic that after a day of putting things in perspective, we reverse routes and go crazy over something that is relatively small?

Alright, if we are going to a have a big shopping day, so be it. Let this be capitalism at work. That said, we can not and must not lose perspective of the time preceding Black Friday. The holiday is not this unofficial Black Friday, but Thanksgiving.

We are looking back and giving thanks that we are still able to celebrate the things in life that we have. What are the most important things that we have? No, not material objects. A person does not need that new TV. It is a nice thing to have but it is not an essential basic human need.

What we have is each other. You and me. When you are that dinner table with your family, look around. We are surrounded by family members that are capable of loving us unconditionally. We are surrounded by friends that support us.

We are thankful for the fact that we are able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. Not all people, even within the boundaries of our own country, have the luxury of saying that.

When one thinks about it, this really puts into perspective all that we really do have and all that we can do to make it so that those that cannot enjoy these luxuries may be able to someday.

So while, you are out shopping on Black Friday, enjoy yourselves. However, at the end of the day, don’t forget what luxuries you enjoy that enabled you to even make the trip to that store. Remember what the real holiday is: Thanksgiving.

Matt Kushi is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at mkushi@student.umass.edu.

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