About two blocks from the apartment I once lived in in New York, there was a second-hand store. This was at a time before anyone used the term "pre-owned." It was just used stuff and I loved nosing around in its dusty nooks and crannies.
Like some guy in a hardware store ("I never met a tool I didn't need"), I usually found myself hooked on one thing or another -- a lamp, a small statue, a plate ... it was as if I hated the idea of going home empty-handed.
After a while, the guy who ran the place knew my face and we would exchange pleasantries as I poked and prodded. Usually, I would pay the asking price for whatever I found, but on at least two occasions, I found something I really liked and simply could not afford at the asking price. In both instances, the owner told me he would lower the price, but only if I promised to take care of the item.
It was an odd and wonderful request, somehow. It may have been a come-on, but I had a sense that he meant what he said ... if you love it, then honor it and take care of it. Don't treat it as if it were just another thing among all the other things you owned.
One of the things was a small bedside lamp stained in a mahogany color (and perhaps mahogany wood) with a chip out of its dish-like base. Forty years later, it still stands on a small table to the left of the bed, making book pages visible.
The other was the four-inch-high, rusted-iron(?) head of a Buddha or bodhisattva. Like the chip in the lamp, the head had a piece broken out of the back. It was a nice but unremarkable head, but its three-inch wooden stand had clearly been hand made with a great deal of care. Even today, when I see it sitting on top of the refrigerator with its water and incense bowls, I'm not sure if it was the base or the head that got my attention in the first place.
One day, these things will be someone else's bric-a-brac or perhaps just be consigned to a large, black garbage bag, but in the meantime I am somehow pleased with their tales: If you love it, then honor it and take care of it. That way they will always be bright.