My red shoes – part 2 (First posted on May 7 on another site)

Posting a photo of my red shoes reminded me of an issue that I think about many times – consumerism, aka tas buying ‘stuff’ that I do not need.  I am by no means a shopaholic, but sometimes I am tempted to buy things I do not need.  For example, I usually go to the mall near my office to do my grocery.  Since it’s a mall, I pass by many shops before getting to the grocery store.  Sometimes I see a nice pair of shoes and I am drawn to it.  The following then happens:

Stage 1:

  1.  My feet take me straight to the shoes
  2. My hands take hold of the shoes and turn them around so that I see how they look from every angle
  3. My heart, or whatever it is, tells me that this is a beautiful pair and I have to have it
  4. My hands put my feet into the shoes
  5. My heart admires my feet wearing the shoes and confirms that yes, this is the right pair of shoes for me
  6. My brain quickly calculates if I can afford the shoes and the answer is always “yes, you can!”
  7. I then get this big temptation to just go ahead and buy the shoes

Stage 2:

  1. My head tells me that I do not need the shoes as I already have more than enough
  2. My heart tells me that having enough pairs of shoes already is not the issue.  The issue is that I like the shoes, they look nice and I can afford, so I should buy them.
  3. My head then instructs my hands to take the shoes off my feet
  4. My heart continues arguing but my head always prevails (nowadays at least) and I leave the shoes and continue to the grocery shop.

Many times though, when I see a temptation, my head immediately tells me not even to give the ‘offending’ item a second look or even think about it.  I force myself to walk on – it is sometimes not easy but I tell myself (under my breath, of course) “no, you don’t need this”.  This always works because I forget about the temptation shortly after.

Wind back to a few years ago – I would buy anything and everything just because I wanted it and I had money in my account.  In order for me not to feel guilty, I would buy cheap things so that I could justify having bought the stuff.  However, I bought many of these cheap things and they added up. 

It took me a long time to train myself to resist temptation and I am glad to say that I have managed to have restraint to a large extent.  Being human, there will be stuff that I am tempted to buy but the triumph is in saying to myself “no, you don’t need this” and walking away.

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