Sept. 7, Daily Prompt:
What’s the one luxury you can’t live without?
First we have to define luxury. Dictionary.com has several definitions, as follows:
1. a material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity: Gold cufflinks were a luxury not allowed for in his budget.
2. free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being: a life of luxury on the French Riviera.
3. a means of ministering to such indulgence or enjoyment: This travel plan gives you the luxury of choosing which countries you can visit.
4. a pleasure out of the ordinary allowed to oneself: the luxury of an extra piece of the cake.
5. a foolish or worthless form of self-indulgence: the luxury of self-pity.
While some people might consider having a computer a luxury, for instance – because their budget doesn’t allow for it and it isn’t necessary for survival – I would consider a computer a convenient extra item to have at home. To me, the computer is practically a necessity, as I do all my writing on it, I apply for jobs on it, I do research on it, I communicate with people by email and Facebook. But I would not consider it an “object…conducive to sumptuous living.” Therefore, it isn’t a luxury to me.
What about a smart phone, that is, not one that only makes and receives calls? Is it a luxury to have a camera, games, Internet, Facebook, GPS and many other apps in one’s phone. Yes, I suppose so, and if I had to do without it, I could, although I admit it is very convenient because it does all those things – records a memory, entertains me, helps me communicate, and gets me where I need to go. I’d have to wait until I got in front of a computer to go on the Internet or check e-mail. Still, I could do without it if I had to.
Definition #2 fits the sort of luxury I might indulge in – our trip to Texas in June-July was a luxury, and probably we would be better off financially if we’d stayed home. However, traveling to me is an important part of living – it’s a block of leisure time used to see some place new. Also, it is a way of learning new things, things that I would not have as part of my knowledge bank if I didn’t travel. It’s a chance to experience something not ordinarily experienced, which adds to the sum total of the enrichment of my life. It’s something to plan and look forward to and get excited about.
So in fact, if travel is a “luxury,” then it definitely is the luxury I couldn’t do without.