The day after Thanksgiving and we find ourselves at a mall on the West side of Chicago. We didn’t want to participate in Black Friday. It’s just that the 50% off coupon at Neiman Marcus needed to be used and we were in the city to see a play and so there we were. In the middle of the moving mass. We didn’t go until 10am so we missed the true diehards but still, I was impressed by two things. The lines at Starbucks and several other stores–with guards to control entry–and the prices! Granted this was a mall with not only Neiman’s but Saks and Prada and Michael Kors. Why did I even go in the St. John’s boutique? Beautiful, quality pieces yes, but the lowest priced item I found was $849.00.
I actually found myself thinking, “I need to make more money. Apparently scores of people can afford to shop in stores I cannot.” Thankfully I checked myself. I make a good living doing what I intend as good in my little world. Granted, at such moments, I can be easily reminded how much more I would have earned over the years had I pursued peace less and litigation more, regularly dragging people into court whether truly needed or not. But that stunning St. John’s suit just isn’t worth it when I think of the kids whose lives I impact.
After making good use of the coupon at Neiman’s, we wandered around the mall and just watched. People were intense in their shopping zeal. And also willing to stand in a line 30 people deep to snag a deal at Coach. Even if the store didn’t have a line to get in, there certainly was one at the check out.
Before checking out at Neiman’s, I gave a few articles of clothing back to the clerk at the dressing room. Oh they were lovely alright. But the truth is, my closets are full.
Maybe it’s just that there is so much that begs for attention these days. ISIS, cancer, Ebola, poverty and homelessness, Ukraine, Ferguson. The driven march to get more–one in which I’ve been an active participant at times–seemed so silly to me that day and I couldn’t wait to escape the mall.
This year I intend to buy less and give more. More time, attention, and experiences with the ones that I love. I can easily be sucked into the chaos and a mindset of inadequacy. I hope not to lose sight of how very much I have and how very little I need.
Wishing us all wisdom this holiday season,
Deborah Bennett Berecz
When making your donation choices this year, please consider Starkey Hearing Foundation. So the world may hear. Learn more at http://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.
Curious why I support SHF? View here: http://familyresolutions.us/2013/12/hear-hear/.