'It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.' So sayeth the mighty John Steinbeck. Today has been Black Friday and what a black day it is. Hordes of people desperate to have something for nothing. It really is the antithesis to Thanksgiving yesterday and ironically hails from the same shores. Why can't we import a festival that celebrates all that is wonderful about humankind, why do we have to have something which encourages greed and (if the tv footage is anything to go by), appalling bad manners when shopping? Apparently, it was Amazon who imported Black Friday five years ago (thanks for that) and each year it has grown a little so that now it has become officially, a 'thing' in Britain. To the uninitiated, such as myself, it seems to be an opportunity to hone those skills so beloved of the January sales lover - the shoving, the wanton neediness for tat, the gleam in the eye for a bargain that you never know, may come in useful at some stage in the future. I sound cynical. No, really? I hate this about people. While I appreciate a bargain as much as the next person, I don't see what this incessant need for 'stuff' is all about. Perhaps if people thought a little more about what they should be grateful about; those simple things like shelter, water and food, good health and a wage coming in, they wouldn't worry about what they don't have and can't consume and might be happy with less. But then if we weren't bombarded with advertising which tells us what we can't possibly be happy without, we wouldn't know what it was we couldn't live without. And then we might be happy.