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:
- My feet take me straight to the shoes
- My hands take hold of the shoes and turn them around so that I see how they look from every angle
- My heart, or whatever it is, tells me that this is a beautiful pair and I have to have it
- My hands put my feet into the shoes
- My heart admires my feet wearing the shoes and confirms that yes, this is the right pair of shoes for me
- My brain quickly calculates if I can afford the shoes and the answer is always “yes, you can!”
- I then get this big temptation to just go ahead and buy the shoes
- My head tells me that I do not need the shoes as I already have more than enough
- 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.
- My head then instructs my hands to take the shoes off my feet
- 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.