Taking during a time of giving

Darian Graivshark

As I grew older, I was always told to give back to those who are in need. This was drilled into my head, especially when Thanksgiving and Christmas would roll around.

With social media these days, you see everyone posting about how the donated 200 canned goods to their local food bank, or donated toys to the children's hospital for sick kids. However, what you don't typically see is the chaos behind retrieving those donated goods.

Many of us probably see the funny, as well as sad, videos on Facebook. One I did not find so funny was a video compilation of people on Black Friday (or Thanksgiving day in recent years) physically harming another human being to get a flat screen television for 50 percent off. After spending time with your family and telling them how grateful you are for them, why would you go out and harm another person for an object that does not add value to your life?

Since 2006, there have been 12 deaths on Black Friday, and 117 injuries, courtesy of http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/. Those are only the reported ones, though. There are plenty of injuries that I'm more than sure have been left unsaid about.

Of course, it's fun to say you have an 82 inch HDTV in your living room. I'm sure it's great to brag about it too to the neighbors. However, we shouldn't be beating people up to receive those items. First come first serve is always a good implementation, but then, of course, people will always say they were first when they weren't.

A solution: just go to another store. During a time that is supposed to be filled with love and giving, we should not be willing to hurt another person. We say to help one another and pick one another up, but in these instances, may people want to kick others down and leave them on the ground.

There is maybe even the possibility of involving yourself in Cyber Monday, which is online shopping. Avoid the chaos and the madness while giving your blood pressure a break.

Another fun fact to take into consideration is that many stores will actually increase the price of their products a few weeks before something like Black Friday, and on that day, they'll bring the price back down the the original price to make it seem as though you are getting a great deal. In reality, though, there is no deal at all. Black Friday has become a sort of profit hungry ordeal for businesses rather than something the benefits the consumers.

As Christmas approaches more quickly, the tension that will arise for people to get the perfect gifts or to get to where they need to be on time will only become more prevalent. I think it's important to say that we should work on our patience, especially in traffic.

Instead of speeding and going 85 in a 65, challenge yourself to stay behind someone going the speed limit without riding their tail. It only really takes about 21 days to start breaking a bad habit anyways. Over the last few months, and challenging myself to do the same, I have noticed an increase in patience and can vouch for the fact that is does eventually work.

To decrease stress even more this holiday season, maybe think about shopping for a friend or a co-worker who has not done their shopping yet. Tell them to Venmo you (the new, great way to transfer money), or even write you a check for what they will need. Not only will it make you feel good about helping someone else, but it will create less built up tension in the lives of other people around you.

I feel that is it extremely important to remember to be kind to one another, even when we may get wrapped up in our own world and our own problems. Not only during the holidays, but every day after that. When it's June and we are done with things like Easter and Mardi Gras, let's try to keep the consideration of others in mind.

Remember: Comparison is the thief of joy. When you love what you have, and love yourself, the hate and pain of the world begins to come to an end.

Follow Darian on Twitter @dariangshark.