Recently I told a friend the story of my mother’s diamond earrings and realized that this story says a lot about what we are willing to recycle. Mom loved jewelry and my stepfather, Robert, loved her, so he bought her beautiful rings and earrings. The earrings that I still have are gold buttons with small diamonds in the center. Understand, Robert was a smart man, but he knew far more about golf than he did about earrings. When he bought this particular pair, he looked at the simple, elegant design and knew they were right. What he did not think about, never having worn earrings, is that they come in two basic types, clip on and pierced. These were for pierced ears, which at the time Mom did not have. She loved the earrings, though, so he took them back to the jewelers and had tiny clips put on where the posts had been. Problem solved. Well, no.
Mom started to worry that because the earrings were small, she might lose one. So at the age of seventy something, she had her ears pierced. The earrings went again to the jewelers to have their original posts reattached. I have no idea how much Robert spent on the earrings originally or on their two alterations. But the message is that he valued them and was willing to go to great lengths to recycle them. We might learn from him. If we value the earth, we should take better care of it, even if it costs more to do the right thing.