By Bryan Hyde

COMMENTARY -- Black Friday sales are becoming synonymous with combat shopping, complete with stampedes, shoving and fistfights.

It wasn’t always this way.


Watch news coverage from the 80s and 90s and you’ll notice that Black Friday shoppers were plentiful, but orderly and people actually seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was no sense of entitled urgency or the need to view other shoppers as opponents.

What changed?

There’s something more at play here than simple greed. Black Friday has come to represent a scarcity mentality that causes people to revere an object, not for its value or utility, but for the bragging rights of having what others do not.

For some, it’s tempting to blame consumerism or the free market for this kind of materialistic supremacy. In reality, this kind of behavior is based in the deadly sin of envy.

A key to finding happiness and satisfaction in life is to refrain from being too interested in what others have. 


Envy combined with violence has led to much of the ugliness found throughout human history.

It’s the same mindset that drives calls for government to step in and make things “fair” by punishing those who produce as if they had taken advantage of the poor.

If we would recoil from the idea of beating another shopper to take what they have for ourselves, we should likewise be repelled by the thought of asking government to take things away from others.

* Hyde In Plain Sight is written by KDXU personality Bryan Hyde. Catch his daily HIPS vignette at 7:50-ish every weekday morning on KDXU and listen to The Bryan Hyde Show weekends at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday nights.

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