How shopping mania can kill someone

This is a touching story narrated by Annie Leonard of Story of Stuff. A young man was killed in stampede trying to protect a pregnant women from bargain hunters. Here is an excerpt from this story.

Jdimytai — known as Jimmy to his friends — had taken temporary job at a Walmart store in New York State, near his home. When the store opened at 5:00 in the morning, the crowds of shoppers — many of whom had been waiting in the cold for hours to score good deals — stormed the doors and trampled Jdimytai as he struggled to protect a pregnant woman from the stampede.

Jdimytai was a college student, and his mother said he hoped to be a teacher one day. He liked watching football and eating his mother’s cooking. In an interview after the tragedy, she dabbed her eyes and said: “I don’t have anybody else.”

Now, I’ve never met Marie Tellismond, but as a fellow mother, I am pretty sure she would give anything to have a day with her son again. Losing, or even coming close to losing someone we love, makes us get our priorities straight really, really fast.

Most of us have a choice this Friday that Marie Tellismond no longer has. We have a choice to stay put with loved ones, to play board games and eat leftovers and maybe even watch a football game together. Or we can chose to leave the warmth of our beds before dawn, to sit in our cars in a parking lot at some mall and to spend the day searching for low prices on products which we don’t really need and often don’t even want, but getting them is all part of the Black Friday Frenzy.

We are fortunate enough not to have such crazy scenes in our country but we still need to be careful not to move into that direction.

Large stores and shopping mall encourage impulse buying with attractive displays. Without knowing we can develop a new ‘hobby’ called shopping. Shopping activity gives a false sense of satisfaction immediately but has serious long term side effects.

To counter this I have few very simple rules:

  1. I always go for shopping with a list of things I really need and do not deviate from my list.
  2. I don’t buy anything even if I like it on the display. I don’t create a need when I see something interesting or tempting. I let the ‘need’ remind me for few days or weeks before I satisfy it.
  3. I prefer to buy from small shops which don’t have any product display.

How do you do your shopping?


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