If ever there was a good example of the phrase “everything in moderation,” Giving Tuesday would be it. For those of you unaware, “Giving Tuesday” is, according to Wikipedia, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving here in the United States. It follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is touted as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world”.
Yeah. OK. Sorry I missed whatever special cause you were promoting.
It is not so much that I missed, it, but rather it was more like I was overwhelmed by the onslaught of donation requests that hit my email and social media for the day. Everywhere I turned there was another pitch for some worthy charitable cause (although the one for “Fred’s Beer Fund” sounded somewhat suspicious if not outright self-serving). Literally dozens of requests for support crossed my path that day; so many so that the easiest solution in choosing one was in the end to choose none. Far better to ignore them all than risk slighting some by mere omission.
The saying “everything in moderation” is sage advice, and there is a reason it has been around for centuries. The Greek poet Hesiod said around 700b.c., “observe due measure; moderation is best in all things”, and the Roman comedic dramatist Plautus said, ‘moderation in all things is the best policy.’
And no one knew how to live life with moderation like the Romans. They had moderation in spades.
The real problem here is that the days are all reversed. First comes Black Friday, that special day that now, in non-pandemic years, starts some time on Thanksgiving Day, the Thursday prior. People celebrate this day by trampling Wal Mart greeters and fighting over cheap crap made in China. Those of us who are not part of the melee have seen the videos. Black Friday is not Humanity’s finest hour.
Next, we have Cyber Monday, which has been growing steadily this past decade. It is when all the bargain hunting moves online, and it has become the biggest online shopping day of the year. This year, thanks to COVID 19, it completely overtook Black Friday.
Personally, I have not done any Christmas shopping this year. I am waiting for “Peaceful Protest Wednesday,” where everything I desire will be free, as long as I don’t mind crawling over broken glass and retailers’ shattered dreams.
But then, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when all of our cash has been spent and the credit cards are running out of room, here comes Giving Tuesday to collect whatever scraps remain. I suppose it also helps to sooth our collective conscience over Black Friday activities, like trampling Wal Mart employees and snatching cherished items from the hands of crying children.
It is all bass ackwards, if you ask me. We should have Giving Friday, which could be held while people still have something left to give. Then we could have Black Monday for trampling retail employees and Cyber Tuesday for all the online largess. That would make more sense. After all, if we are going to be inundated with a bazillion requests for charitable support, we might as well have a little scratch to go around (Scratch is slang for cash, if you didn’t know. I hope my linguistic hippness isn’t too much for you this morning).
Of course, in our rapidly changing environment, this could all suddenly shift. If Peaceful Protest Wednesday really takes off, Black Friday and Cyber Monday could become irrelevant, since we would get all our stuff that day. That means there would be plenty of money available to support Giving Tuesday, as long as they move it to Thursday. Problem solved.
And that is good news for Fred’s Beer Fund, indeed.