How do you to make the choices you make? 

While we may think it’s logic and reason, many times it’s something else — strong, hidden and invisible forces created to feed and protect us for centuries.

Have you been to a Black Friday sale? Just as the approach of autumn sends the birds migrating south, the day after Thanksgiving awakens the PIG in millions of Americans and sends them stampeding to the malls.

On Black Friday of 2008, at a Wal-Mart on Sunrise Highway in Long Island, the stampede turned lethal. Customers bursting through the doors at the 5 AM opening time trampled a store employee to death.

And though the outcome is not always so tragic, it can be bad, because the PIG is intent on coming home with some goods. Even if the hyped specials are gone — “What, no more HDTVs for $159?” — unruly herds of shoppers who’ve succumbed to their PIGs will root through the aisles, scrambling for anything that looks like a bargain. So begins an annual orgy of spending that leaves many people with debts they’ll be paying for years to come.

Everyone’s PIG is different in the details of its behavior. Not all of us have PIGs that get so excited about buying things in stores, for instance. Some people’s PIGs are more attracted to rooting through the aisles of life for sex and physical thrills … or for money, especially easy money! … or just for glory and recognition. Perhaps there’s a PIG in your neighborhood that can’t pass up any chance to look important or sound like an expert.

Nearly all PIGs, including mine, will go for a wide variety of things depending on what’s available. The common denominator is that each of us has a PIG, and unlike its four-legged namesake, it does not only go after food. It will chase any kind of pleasure, any satisfaction, as long as the reward is close at hand — lying right there in our paths —and can be gotten quickly.

PIG is in capital letters because it’s an acronym:

PIG = the ever-present drive to Pursue Instant Gratification

Each one of us is equipped with a PIG to help us in certain situations.  Watch it very carefully, so that it doesn’t take over and call your shots when the situation does not demand it.

Be present and be well.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Krishna