5 virtues to carry you from Thanksgiving into Black Friday

Photo illustration by Michelle Budge

From the Editorial Board; Think of them as keys to unlock the true spirit of the season

Black Friday can provide an odd contrast both with the day before, Thanksgiving, and the forthcoming holiday to which it is directed — the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Capitalism may be the most efficient way to satisfy market needs while reducing prices and increasing efficiencies through competition. But if people don’t temper it with timeless virtues, the result can be devastating.

Think unbridled greed and corruption. Think about the Biblical grinding of the faces of the poor, to paraphrase Isaiah. Think about the opposite of the Christ child, who is the embodiment of selfless love and redemption.

Think of all those videos you’ve seen of people acting badly as they fight for items on sale.

With that in mind, here are five virtues to cultivate as you head to the stores, or even if you don’t.


Science is producing studies that show how important kindness is to mental and emotional health. Writing for Psychology Today, clinician Karyn Hall offers tips for practicing this virtue.

“One way to be kind is to open your eyes and be active when you see people in need,” she said. “Do you notice when people could use a helping hand? A sense of community is created when people are kind to those who need help.”

This may be a good way to direct your holiday spending. Once you are more aware of people’s needs, you can provide gifts that are more meaningful and useful.

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And, it should go without saying, a kind person would temper the urge to push and shove his or her way toward a coveted item available only on a Black Friday sale. Kindness shuns self-interest as it turns a person outward.


Thanksgiving is one of those rare holidays that can push people of sharply differing viewpoints together in a confined space. If the subject turns to politics, religion or any other hot-button topic, mutual respect is imperative, unless you want peace and tranquility to end up in the trash bin next to the turkey carcass.

But it’s important to carry this virtue with you on Black Friday, and through the rest of the year, as well.

Writing for Legacy Business Cultures, author Saad Ali Khan notes that humans tend to be more lenient toward people who share their views, while pushing back against those who don’t. We should consciously resist this.

“The word respect originally comes from ‘respectus’ which means ‘attention,’ consideration or regard,” he wrote. “It is an idea that alludes to the capacity to esteem and honor someone else, both their words and activities, regardless of whether we don’t endorse or share all that the person does.”

This is a virtue sorely lacking in the United States today, and it’s rarely fostered by social media or other popular avenues of human interaction. If you have it, respect will change how you view the holidays, as well as what you value …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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