You may be thinking, that guy has slipped a cog or two with this title. This is BLACK FRIDAY, after all, and anything and everything is fair, to paraphrase, in shopping and war. This is THE day for sharp elbows and ignorance of others who might’ve been ahead of you in the check-out line.
This is, of course, the day on which retailers are supposedly going to be made whole and returned to profitability. This is the day when all us consumers are supposed to go nuts and over-spend; thus the day when retailers finally course from red ink to black ink in their electronic ledgers. The concept of further mark-downs creating the profit for an entire year escapes me, but that is another story.
Our Associate Pastor wrote the following in our daily devotion “Yellow Sheet” for this morning: I have a challenge for you today. Today I encourage you to treat others with “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Will it be easy or hard? Are you reading this while standing in an early morning Black Friday line? Are you preparing for a day spent hiding from the shoppers in your home? Whether you are greeting fellow shoppers, exchanging words with your cashier or simply spending the day with a family member or two, I encourage you to “put on love” especially for those who don’t seem to deserve it.
She certainly hits some tender spots that probably each of us can cringe at while thinking of how we’ve acted on these kinds of days. This is among those days when many seem to cast courtesy to the four winds and buckle their chin straps to get at some serious shopping and those great Black Friday prices. Just imagine how you’d stand out in the crowd if you wore one of your brightest smiling faces instead of bearing down on that next item you need in order to scratch it from your shopping list. Imagine how you’d give someone a spiritual lift by simply giving them genuine smile from the heart.
I have the habit, annoying to some I know, of wearing a smile as often as possible throughout each of the days I have here on this earth. I do receive some stares by those who don’t know me, and some headshakes from friends who do know me. It is amazing what a simple smile will do for us and for those who see it on our faces. In at least 75% of the time, I receive a return smile; it is almost an automatic reflex. In the other 25%, I imagine people are wondering if I’m “all there” or suffering from some serious emotional issues, or they simply looked right past me and never saw my smile.
Just imagine, if you will, what a smile would do on Black Friday. Some will try to avoid your look. Some will try to find a tiny little smile feeling awkward at the same time. If you notice children, they almost always will smile back unless Mom or Dad have taught them that can be dangerous with strangers. If you couple the smile with a wave, you’ll probably get both in return.
I believe that each of us has a mission here on this earth and among mine is to try to help others relax and smile more often than they might without my encouragement. Sometimes it seems that those who appear to have little if anything about which to smile are the quickest to respond to your smile.
Imagine how a smile could help someone on Black Friday. Imagine how that smile could help you on Black Friday…and every day. Sure, some will wonder if you’ve finally gone over the edge, but you’ll know better.
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