Taste is relative, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Having said that, I have to respect that someone, somewhere, finds “dad sneakers” desirable enough to wear stylishly. Consider these Balenciaga Triple S Trainers (retail $895)—an expensive pair or trendy, over-the-top sneakers. My preference is for something far more scaled back, more affordable, less aggressive, without conspicuous branding, and with a zero-drop sole.

While I can’t dictate what someone spends their money on, I am always in favor of suggesting we consider the needs and plight of others before splurging on luxury items. No, you can’t save the world. No, you can’t buy everyone something. No, you shouldn’t flagellate yourself for having material desires. You can, however, be mindful of how delayed gratification and altruism can be used to help those around you in need, especially if you reside in a city with low-income neighborhoods like Brownsville or East New York and are aware of the needs of the community.

Before making an expensive, selfish purchase ask yourself:

  • Is there anyone I know who knows someone in financial need?
  • When was the last time I donated a frightening amount of money that I would have spent on food and entertainment to a reputable cause?
  • Could I contribute meaningful supplies to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen anonymously?
  • Will I truly get my money’s worth from this purchase?

Sometimes the answer to any of those questions pulls at your heart strings. Does that happen you you? Would you feel any reservation standing in line about to swipe the plastic for an expensive item that you likely don’t need? Then consider postponing (or cancelling) the large, self-serving purchase in order to help someone else out, first. Personally, my conscience would trouble me if I spent nearly one thousand dollars on sneakers and took the train home (observing homeless persons and panhandlers vocal about their predicament) so I could take pictures and vaingloriously post the sneakers to Instagram and Facebook.

Sometimes, putting the needs of others above your material desires is the antidote to materialism. At a minimum, it encourages you to be mindful of your intentions.

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Balenciaga Triple S Trainers