Friday, 25 November 2016
I wrote a post this morning, having a good old moan about the deluge of excitable unsolicited emails I've been receiving for days, each peppered with exclamation marks, large capitalised lettering and a general sense of urgency. So irritating, I thought; I'll shop when I choose. Leave me alone.
Black Friday. What on earth is that about? Such unsubtle marketing to drive us into hasty purchases of stuff we probably didn't need, that probably wasn't a bargain anyway, and that we would probably look at sourly after Christmas, overdrawn and sick of our sudden increase in material possessions but no corresponding storage space, muttering "Why? Why?"
But then I deleted it, because I couldn't keep it short (moaning has to be brief, or people go glassy-eyed) and neither could I ignore the many worldwide social, economic and ethical issues that accompany our materialistic excesses at this time of year. Too much to write about this morning! Easier to look at my own consumerist tendencies rather than rail against other people's.
So instead, I will think about a little radio interview I once heard, in which the Dalai Lama had been taken round a supermarket (I know, a surprising sort of visit for a spiritual leader to make), emerging empty-handed. He was asked if he hadn't wanted anything in there?
"Oh yes!" he replied, with his characteristic laughter, "I wanted many things! But I didn't need anything."
A lovely lesson from a lovely man.