The Voices of Black Friday

Outer Voice

Welcome to Black Friday, Ladies and Gents.
A dollar buys what the Bangladeshi made for fifty cents.
Bath accessories, towels galore.
Electronics, gadgets, infinite items to explore.
It’s the deal of the year folks, the steal of the week.
Just trample a few prospectors for the items you seek.
One died at Walmart, this morning, don’t fret.
All will die tomorrow, if the economy is offset.
Spend like there’s no tomorrow, gorge again today.
Not on turkey and mashed potatoes, but on the ornaments the body can display.
Fill your life with pleasure, forget about those without.
Take it to the next level of consumption and self-doubt.
You think you’re at your limit, you’ve only started on the tour.
The more you buy, the more jobs, the more open doors.

Inner Voice

Or is that really the truth you’ve been told, my dear friend?
Take a moment, take a minute, think about that girl with fifty cents.
No matter how much you buy, it yours and yours alone.
The profit for the master, the one who closes all the doors.
The girl takes her coins, her booty for the week.
Gives it to her parents, so they can have a meal to eat.
Tomorrow she returns again, to sew that shirt for you.
Sweating at the sweatshop, instead of studying in school.
At the register, give your dollar, fill your cart for another round.
But find comfort only in an illusion that there’s absolutely nothing you can’t live without.

written December 2013


13 thoughts on “The Voices of Black Friday

  1. Melanie Messer says:

    Reading this today made me feel an assurance that I’m not the only one who struggles with how the world is. It’s a struggle to know how to live our lives when we know that someone somewhere connected to us in the global economy is struggling to survive. I feel really crazy sometimes when I consider the realities. I’m so glad that I read this today as it, at least, lets me know that someone else is thinking similar thoughts in the lead up to Black Friday.

    • Kate Houck says:

      Thanks, Melanie, for reading and commenting! Yes, you’re right. Everything is connected which is such an important thing to absorb especially when we think about the things we are buying. And, I know…it is painful and hard to think about. But we must keep talking about these issues if there will be any hope for change. Much love and thanks again for the thoughts 🙂

  2. saintcharlotte says:

    Kate, I love this. Your words cleverly speak about reality and the unjust state of existence for a lot of people across the world, and all these … in the name of commercialism …. This is brilliant.

  3. bruce thomas witzel says:

    Hi Kate thanks for dropping by my blog and reading about Thich Nhat Hanh today. Your poem about rampant consumerism and how it relates to world hunger and poverty is powerful. This is 365 days a year, though Black Friday ramps this buying frenzy. I have found the Christmas season comes for me with mixed blessings – I love the spirit of Christmas, yet I hate the excess. In relation to the Bangladeshi girl, you may find my post last about last years Dhaka tragedy dovetails well with the essence of “Voices of black Friday.” I hope you don’t mind me adding the link here …. Please keep up your important work of raising awareness through education and experience. Peace … Bruce

    • Kate Houck says:

      Hi Bruce, Of course it’s ok to share your link! I think this should be an open forum for connected ideas and a shared locale for advocacy and awareness. In fact, I just reblogged that post…it was fantastic. I struggle with the same feelings and I also hate the excess, not only for the fact that it has negative implications on the rest of the world, but I also feel like it has negative impacts on our own personal selves and distorts our priorities when we have too much “stuff”. Maybe if people could see these things and also understand they are being manipulated by the media to buy, buy, buy, the situation would start to change. Keep writing!!!

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