Many articles on this site will tell you some shopping hints, such as how to save money, what deals are out right now, or what the new fashion trends are, but I have a different message to convey. Please note that I am not trying to say, “Stop shopping!” Alternatively, this is just a different view of shopping and how to apply a piece of philosophy toward how you buy.
The 3rd verse of the Tao, a concept found in Taoism, Confucianism, and more generally in ancient Chinese philosophy, seems to relate philosophy with shopping. It writes:
“Putting a value on status will create contentiousness. If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal. By not displaying what is desirable, you will cause the people’s hearts to remain undisturbed. The sage governs by emptying minds and hearts, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.
Practice not doing….
When action is pure and selfless, everything settles into its own perfect place“
This 3rd verse of the Tao Te Ching advises one to rearrange priorities to ensure satisfaction. The Tao suggests that a drive to buy should be directed by something greater than ego-driven desires.
How can you apply Tao-based principles to your shopping techniques? Well, to start you off, think about the times when you are about to buy something. Take note of this desire and plan, and then decide to use the Tao to guide your buying process. The Tao would advise you to be grateful for the opportunity to buy something. Be thankful for the fact that you even have the choice to make the purchase, and then listen to yourself and think about the purpose of your purchase. Using your feelings, realize that you may not have to buy what you are about to buy. The Tao will help you reveal whether or not you really need to make the purchase or if there is another purpose to your desire. Can you maybe buy the item to give it to someone else, or donate it? Can you use the money that you were about to spend and give it to charity instead? Maybe you will be guided not to buy the item. And, of course, you always could be guided to purchase the item so that you can savor it within your life.
As one can see, it is a different view of how you go about shopping, but it may be one you could practice every so often to make your shopping experiences more meaningful.