Monday, December 1


Black friday was indeed blackened, when Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death by some 2000 predawn deal seeking shoppers.  I don't have words for the feelings that I have experienced since learning about the ending of this young man's life - imagining how he may have had to rally himself early Friday morning, possibly (hopefully) after having spent Thanksgiving day enjoying time with friends or family the day before.  Going to work, knowing it would be a busy day with all the big sales kicking off the biggest consumer season of the year... but who could imagine the intensity of the consumer's need for a good deal; the need to get to the deal before the person next to them; the fear that there "might not be enough for me", to the point of becoming blind to others...

Some of you may have seen the link I've had in my side bar for several months, "The Story of Stuff", but I decided this would be a good time to spotlight it, so if you've got a little time you might like to watch at least some of it.  For me it serves as a wake up call, or at least causes me to pause before purchasing of any kind, not only during this season of 'giving'.  I believe the best gifts we can give one another involve the gift of our time and attention, with sharing our Selves, whenever possible.


  1. Your words have increased my attention to this incident. I mean, there's a certain casualness we now have to hearing about people's deaths because we hear those stories every day.

    But when you put it in this context I can imagine those people there, elbowing each other, eyeing off everything on sale and imagining what they'll go for first... all of that, more important than anyone else's safety.

    Makes me feel very, very ill...

  2. Hi Svasti,
    yeah, that's how I've been feeling since I heard the story - ill. I guess that's why I wrote about it the way that I did - to try to make it more real, the way it felt to me the moment I heard it.
    For better or worse, it's what happens when ever I hear or read stories of human loss, when choices are made and consequences follow, and I'm left wondering - couldn't we make different choices?

  3. METTA at its best...thank you Karin.
    I hope that there is a way for me to incorporate this story of stuff into next week's residency...we must chat

  4. I thought the same thing when I heard this news. Disgust!

    I watched the Story of Stuff and it really puts in a nutshell the way I have always felt. I hate shopping, hate spending money, and abhor commercials.

    Being a mail carrier, this is my most dreaded time of the year. I don't understand how people who live in half million dollar houses can feel the need for so much more stuff, but I hump it up to their doors every single day from now until Christmas. Geez, most of them shop like this year round! Who needs this much stuff??? Think about it.

  5. Would love to help figure out a way to incorporate a way to work it into your program D! We'll talk :)

    Katie Jane, Sadness to the point of feeling ill is much more the feeling for me. That there is a void so deep and difficult to fill in many of us, as I see it. And that our society puts such importance on Stuff... (terrorists attack? please, go buy no savings? please, borrow and buy a house...) but most of us don't think beyond the immediate gratification felt after the purchase, and I wonder how much would change if everyone followed the full path of purchase laid out here, as well as thinking about the real reason behind making a purchase and consequence of it...

  6. I've been so sad about this too. What could have been so important on those Walmart shelves that some would have traded for a life? This problem is the big elephant in America's bedroom, and it's shameful that the God of STuff is the golden calf we worship. Thanks for helping to remind all of us.

  7. I will often listen to NPR in the car. My week began with hearing an amazing story about a woman in Texas who lost her job and her home. She went to the foreclosure auction, tells her story to the stranger standing next to her and that 'stranger' bought her home back for her.

    Marilyn Mock was straightforward about her motivation, "People need to help each other, and that's all there is to it."

    That inspirational story was bookended on Black Friday by the same story you tell here. I wept when I heard the news. A tragedy beyond comprehension really.

    Your journal entry in response to this on November 29 was wonderful. I just enjoy your artwork so much, Karin.

  8. e.m., thank you for sharing the npr story - it is helpful to my heart to hear of such an openly given gift of generosity! wow.

  9. my goodness, this story hadn't quite reached me in oz...

    people en masse can be so ridiculously stupid

    how awful for that poor family, how frightening for humanity.



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