Thanksgiving? Check. Black Friday? Done. Cyber Monday? History.

After a holiday dedicated to gluttony and a weekend devoted to uninhibited materialism, we can’t help but ask: How did we get here?

To be precise, it seems that society has come to a point where we value self-interest more than the people around us. Billions of dollars are spent in a few days to satisfy superficial impulses, while there are so many struggling to obtain the bare necessities of life.

So how have we come to a point in our country where a few deaths or gunshots have come to be expected on a shopping holiday? Do we really live in such a self-interested society where the demise of Twinkies gets just as much attention on the internet as the turmoil on the Gaza-Israel border?

But there is hope.

There’s a day that is called Giving Tuesday. What’s the idea here? Several charity organizations banded together to promote the idea that after a weekend of self indulgence, one should realize that the needs of others should also be considered. Individuals are encouraged to donate to charities and the less fortunate in any way possible on this particular day.

Hopefully, people can recognize the importance of helping others through the organization of efforts like Giving Tuesday. In fact, this day should replace Black Friday altogether.

One might argue that the loss of Black Friday as a national staple would be devastating to our economy. And you’d be right – it promotes spending in a way that is not seen at any other time throughout the year.

We’re not saying don’t spend any money on the holidays. But instead of getting that iPad or flat screen television at half price, use that money to buy food and donate it to FoodBankNYC or the like. You will still be pumping money into the economy, but you will also be helping those in need. Without having to spend every last penny on the bare necessities of life, those helped by donations can work towards things like education and entrepreneurship, allowing an even greater progression for our country than one weekend of shopping could provide.

Thanksgiving can stay. Enjoy a good meal with your family. But when it’s done, instead of buying the WiiU with 30 percent off, go help the family who couldn’t afford to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.

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