Unable to resolve my love of shoes (which are almost all leather) and my repulsion of the destruction caused by the leather industry, I had to think pretty hard. It just occurred to me that when I buy leather shoes from GoodWill I just paid a company to keep them out of the landfill (not to mention all the other great things that company does which I like to support). When I buy leather shoes from a new-stuff store, I pay the company that will order the replacement (indirectly, asking someone to go kill another cow please and pour the dyes and other toxic water chemical treatments into our water supply; and god knows all the effects on all the people involved). I don’t like the idea of paying someone to live a life of killing animals; or to help create a world of living among the carcasses (ie., you can see youtubes of discarded skins piled along side the Ganges). Still I am very attached to what I am used to. Although I haven’t eaten cow since the 1980′s, etc. I have a very long way to go.
On a different mindful shopping experience:
I just bought a 1968 Raleigh, made in England. It is, IMO, a thing of beauty. Built from a strong heritage of dependance on the bike as the main mode of transportation, the way it rides is like a sculpted extension of the body. The bike store successfully kept these out of the landfill. The salesperson mentioned, it isn’t another mass produced item just shipped across the world, it has been giving rides for decades now. No mistaking, I am a big fan of genius green manufacturing processes when they happens; reinventing that wheel can be one of the greatest ways to help the environment.
I looked at the long lines of new bikes also in the store; so many emblazoned with large, loud, brave fonts and there was my black, elegant, simple, creaky beauty. Too bad I did have to listen to the salesperson who had taken the time to listen to me; I didn’t know before I arrived how much pleasure this old thing would bring me.
How many discoveries are out there waiting for us to take the time to listen, think and see? So many thanks to Thich Nhat Hanh for saying, all the conditions for happiness are right here in this precious moment. We can for example, think of the eyes. We can see how lucky we are to have eyes that work. And like an xray we can use the ray of mindfulness to go through the entire body that way.
In those moments we escape feeling we need anything else, we see all that we already have is more than enough. When we don’t escape that we can still apply mindfulness to shopping. We can discover how things are made that we find joy in and we can make mindful choices. Even if all we do is read amazon reviewers we can see more than what the marketer wants us to see. We can think outside this box. Maybe we can get outside the box altogether and just recycle it! LOL