How the hell could you justify spending $500 or more on a pair of sneakers? That’s how I interpreted the Wall Street fugitive’s question, khe hywhen I saw this tweet:

Knowing Khe’s penchant for nuance, his question probably wasn’t as direct as my initial translation, but that’s how it struck me, and I was curious to see how others would respond. But first, let’s answer the question.

The shoe shown is one half of a pair of Golden Goose sneakers, an Italian designer brand known for its shabby appearance and outrageous price tag. The first time I saw them, I thought, “Oh, great, a new line of [Converse] Chuck Taylors…” until I saw the price tag and responded, “What!?”

But back to the story. As I perused the responses to the tweet, I realized that they were universally critical of the brand, while many were also judging the character of those who would choose to wear the shoes. It was almost as if there was a medicinal quality to the collective judgment of those who would be spendthrift, shallow, or attention-seeking enough to grace their feet with a pair of Golden Goose sneakers.

I understand the feeling. Especially as a financial advisor, I tend to look at material things and see a price tag rather than the item itself, and am prone to being judgmental of the buyer. I know I’ve been driving through a neighborhood that was more expensive than mine, overheard one of my kids comment on how amazing a house this was, and instead of answering, “Yeah, it’s beautiful,” I commented, “They probably have a ton of debt.” [Insert Debbie Downer noise.]

I know we’ve been wowed by an amazing sports car, only to heighten our fascination with the wet blanket comment: “Yeah, but they probably have a huge car payment.”

So, I understand the sentiment expressed towards beat-up and outrageously priced shoes. But.

I also have a pair.

You see, the first time I can remember seeing a pair of Golden Goose shoes, I was with my now-wife. We were in that happy dating phase where everything felt pretty dreamy, but things were getting serious enough that we started making not-so-veiled allusions to a more permanent future together.

After we both had the amazing experience of looking at the price tag on the shoes, I wondered aloud what kind of occasion would it take to justify such a purchase, hinting at the possibility of a “big day” in our future.

Sure enough, after we got engaged and set a date, we built our wedding attire from the toes up, both wearing a pair of altar-worn Golden Goose high tops. To this day, they remain my most treasured item of clothing. I wear them constantly, always remembering the significant moment when I first saw them and the trip we took after our engagement when we went back to the store to buy them.

They’re worth it much more of what I paid.

A striking quote most often attributed to Teddy Roosevelt suggests that “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

And oh how true this is. Most of what you’ll read about the soul-sucking danger of comparison is about not feeling diminished by comparing what you don’t have to what someone else might have, but we also suffer needlessly when we patronize or judge those who do. they have chosen to do so. buy something we don’t have.

Writing for the Albert Ellis Institute, Magda Murawska Explain, “The danger of comparing ourselves to others is that our comparisons are never fair. Each of us is a unique individual with characteristics and life events that are unique to us.”

Comparisons are never fair because we each have our own stories, a confluence of events and emotions. And the seed of bitterness that is planted in us every time we judge only hurts us. So the next time we’re tempted to judge someone, whether it’s for something they have or something they don’t, consider the possibility that there might be a great story behind that purchase or withdrawal.

And it’s probably best that we stay focused on our own story anyway.

(A special thanks to Khe Hy for the inspiration and for her blessing to use her tweet as the basis for this post..)

By admin

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