My response to the Daily Prompt Luxury
“When you come to analyse the love of money which was the general impulse to effort in your day, you find that the dread of want and desire of luxury was but one of several motives which the pursuit of money represented; the others, and with many the more influential, being desire of power, of social position, and reputation for ability and success.” — Edward Bellamy
Luxury, in the 21st century it has several meanings. Firstly, it’s a word wealthy people use to describe their lifestyle of great comfort or elegance filled with expensive things. Secondly, it’s a word that is used to describe an inessential and desirable item which is expensive or difficult to obtain. Thirdly, it’s a word used to describe a pleasure obtained only rarely.
For the super wealthy luxury means being able to fill their small island sized mansions with anything they want (whether they need it or not) without thinking about or looking at the numbers on the label. Sure, their houses look amazing and the things look nice; but how many of the expensive and rare things actually make them feel happy? How long does it take for them to decide that they’re bored of binge spending on pointless things?
For some people luxury can mean something being able to do something as simple going on a family holiday. Something like a holiday is a luxury that is both expensive and very difficult to obtain. Yes, they desire the time away from the mundane routine of their home lives but at the end of the day a holiday isn’t an essential thing that will make their lives better.
I am one of these people. For me something like going on holiday isn’t a moment in time that is going to change my life. Yes, my passport has expired but it is not the end of the world if I don’t renew it just because it’s a form of identification that is a supposed necessity in this world. Why would I spend £75 on renewing my passport if I’m never going to use it to travel anywhere? (For me that’s a luxury that I can’t afford without saving up for a few months.)
Finally, there are the people who often find themselves spending the night in a cold shop doorway or protecting themselves from the weather behind bins in an alleyway; who see luxury as something that is rarely obtain. I haven’t been in the position of not knowing where I’m going to sleep the next night or sitting in an unused doorway with an empty money pot in front of me. I’ve never known luxury as something as basic having a meal or a mattress to sleep on in the safety of four walls or having a shower every day.