Monday, December 01, 2008

Truly Shameful Actions

Here's an excellent post about the people who trampled a WalMart employee to death last Friday. Cory Heildeberger has a way with words and sums up my thoughts exactly:

The facts: about 2000 bargain hunters lined up at the Valley Stream Wal-Mart on Long Island in the wee hours Friday morning. They started pushing, busted the doors open a few minutes early, and trampled Mr. Damour to death. The sale-crazed shoppers put four other people in the hospital, including a pregnant woman. The rushing crowd also pushed aside workers who tried to assist Damour and others. Minutes later, when the store announced everyone had to leave due to the death and injuries, shoppers complained that they had been in line since Thursday morning and kept shopping.

The meaning: this is what unbridled consumerism gets us. 2,000 people participated in mass murder... or murder by the savage masses. 2,000 people killed a man, not for justice, not in some understandable (excusable?) panic from fire or flood, but for greed. It is sufficiently idiotic that in their burning desire to accumulate more cheap plastic junk from China, these Long Islanders—these fellow Americans—sacrificed sleep, family time, and even in some cases the entire Thanksgiving holiday. But Friday morning, they sacrificed a life, and their own humanity.

I truly hope that all those responsible take time to reflect on the gravity of what they've done. They are responsible for killing someone because of their selfishness. Unfortunately they probably won't, if they were disposed to reflection they would have been spending the time giving thanks for what they already had. Those of us who are disposed to personal reflection have an opportunity examine our own consciences even if we didn't stampede anyone. I can think of an example from just a few weeks ago where I was ready to jostle my way into the line to get on an airplane before my wife said no it's pointless.

Lord, help me be more courteous and forgive me for the times when I have let my selfishness make me less of a person.

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