What is Luxury?

Daily Prompt: What’s the one luxury you can’t live without?

Before I answer the question, I have a few of my own. What is considered a luxury in this day and age? From who’s point of view are we determining the definition? Am I to base what is and what is not a luxury on the society I live in or on a more global perspective?

For example, do we for the purposes of this exercise consider electricity and clean tap water to be luxuries? They certainly are for a vast majority of people – whether this is as it should be is of course an entirely separate matter. Or, do we now, in the 21st century, consider these to be essential, meaning that the millions who do without are lacking in an essential commodity? Possibly.

So, if we consider the question based on the assumption that electricity and running water are essential, then the question is what, other than these, are luxuries I couldn’t live without?

These days, I am so lucky to have the luxury of time. Time to myself, to write, to think, to figure things out, to daydream and watch the shadows move across my garden. For that, I am thankful beyond measure. I’m not sure I could give up that luxury, coming as it did when I needed it most. But perhaps I could change my life, theoretically, to one in which I would need less things, less money. And then it would not necessarily be a luxury but would become my daily life.

I think I could be quite happy living in a small cottage near the water and close to a village. I could maybe give up the luxury of a car if I could bike to town, although in the countryside a car could be essential rather than luxury.

I guess I could live without my washing machine if I had to but I wouldn’t be happy about it – I’d hate to wash the laundry in some nearby water source or in a basin of hand-pumped water. I like my vacuum and my dishwasher, too, but I could live without those if I had to.

Already, we are tv and video game -free but the Internet is a different story. I rely on it to write, to keep in touch with far-flug friends and family, to share our family pictures and to see theirs. But I could write and research happily using real paper and books, sitting in a library. And, for that matter, could use the library’s Internet (if it no longer qualifies as a luxury when it’s not mine).

But the one thing I would need is books. Without a doubt. Life wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t have access to books, either my own or the library’s.

And coffee.

If I had to write everything down by hand, sweep instead of vacuum, wash my laundry in the river and my dishes in a bucket, if I had to go to work and didn’t have the luxury of all this writing and thinking time, I, as a spoiled person used to electricity and clean water, would bloody well need to have a coffee and a book to make it through!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/daily-prompt-luxury/

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8 thoughts on “What is Luxury?

  1. Ooo, yah, time. Didn’t think of that one. Some people spend their entire day getting water. Boy, this prompt makes me realize how very fortunate we are in this country.

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