From Black Friday to Gratitude Friday.

November 23, 2020

According to the Dalai Lama, gratitude is the birthplace of joy and that JOY IS our purpose.
Gratitude, what a precious word. Many of us long to be able to say they’re grateful and do their utmost to get there. I have a question: “Before striving for something new to be grateful for, what do you already have to be grateful for? As in, NOW?”

My invitation is to seriously explore this question before you hit the ‘purchase’ button on weird days like Black Friday or, the Chinese version ‘Singles Day’.

Looking up the numbers of how much we collectively spend on these days, blew me away. Billions and billions! And the amount is growing every single year. Singles Day 2019 topped off the year before with 25% and the numbers of 2020 are just beyond imagination.

With Black Friday and Christmas on our doorstep, we have a chance. A chance to consciously choose and make a difference by moving from greed to gratitude.

The Alibabas and the Amazons of this world have already filled their pockets. I guess they even had to order big buckets in their own store since their pockets were overflowing…

Sorry, a few more statistics.

A few more years and Amazon’s owner is worth $200 billion. You figure out how many zeros that are… Yet, for instance, in the UK an ‘impressive’ 2,1% of taxes was paid on their profit…

The bottom-line is that the rich keep getting richer and in this challenging year this gets underlined more and more. The small shop owners need to close whilst the online sales grow exponentially. This is where we can make a difference! If we allow a heart filled with gratitude to speak, instead of with greed. Sorry, to me it feels days like Black Friday are to a large extent based on greed and not so much on gratitude. Greed is not the way to joy, gratitude is, remember?


Aren’t we grateful for that cute little shop where they still know what ‘service with a smile’ means? That lovely couple running their shop because they are passionate about their products? With their kids playing in the back of the shop? Who will open after hours to give you that one thing you forgot? Don’t you love them?

Well, these are the ones who struggle big time at this very moment! They had to close and had to see their turn over completely disappear. You do the math, how many zeros that is…

If you choose to buy at the big online shops, fine! Yet you can make a huge difference to spend the same amount buying stuff from your favorite small shop! If you still want them to be there next year, you have to keep them alive! NOW!

Buy gift certificates and give them away for Christmas. The cash from your gift certificate will help them to even make it to Christmas!

That small restaurant, that is trying to survive by selling take-aways? Ask them to send you an invoice for a couple of hundred and pay it today! You want to sit on their terrace next spring? They need your cash NOW to make it to next spring.

I am sure you can come up with other creative ideas to make a difference and help people get through these challenging times. Like this Scandinavian furniture giant; they refuse to join Black Friday and instead they ask their customers to bring back the furniture they don’t use anymore so they can give it to those in need. What do you have that you never use anymore which you could give away to a family in need?

Every amount, however small, you can miss to make somebody else’s life a bit brighter can transform Black Friday into Gratitude Friday.

What does it take from you, to move from greed to gratitude? The answer might lead you to your path of JOY…


© November 2020, Alex Verlek

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