1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

Is Luxury Justified

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Kamalji, May 30, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sdiva20

    sdiva20 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,300
    Likes Received:
    4,058
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    I loove luxury- my louboutin's (only two with plenty of self space for more), jimmy choo's and most importantly Cartier. And my friends at Cartier would be very disappointed if they dont see me often enough. We (they and I)convinced my husband, my infant daughter *needs* a love necklace to match mommy's bracelet and necklace :)
    I am bad as my luxuries are becoming necessities.

    I pay a fair (even generous wage to my cleaning lady). She earns much more than most recent college grads on a per hour basis. A nice good lady and worth every penny :)

    But I think charity is very important- both with money AND time. I really dont want to so self absorbed not to understand my responsibility to my community and world I live in. I also want to instill those values in my children and would like to involve them as they grow older. I cannot change the worls but I want to make small changes in someone's world.

    Most importantly, my huband and I are very involved with animal shelters as we LOVE animals.
     
  2. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,233
    Likes Received:
    15,712
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    My dear Kamal
    There is a Japanese proverb that says poverty in youth and affluence in old age are both a curse. I have done some considerable thinking about this proverb. It makes more and more sense to me as I grow older. I have been young and I am old now. I can very well relate to this proverb. You are talking about splurging hard earned money. I have dreamed of splurging with hardly any money. The stages that we go through life teach us a lot of things but we just do not have time to stop and think about them.

    Happiness is a very queer thing. It is not the exclusive attribute of the affluent. Both the have and have-not do have their moments of happiness. I have seen children in the slums along the Marina Beach playing with gay abandon and in such a state of happiness that I have hardly experienced in my life. At the same time, I have seen affluent children in a state of gloom as their mounting needs are not met by their parents. I am surprised at your take on splurging hard earned money, though nobody can have any objection to how a person spends his money that is the result of all his honest sweat. But it has always been my belief that one should be more prudent with his hard earned money and only those with tons of ill-gotten wealth indulge in mindless splurge. You have yourself written about so many of them.

    Coming back to the Japanese proverb, I see its profundity now. I have enough money to splurge but my mind has distanced itself from such trivialities. I am amazed at the change that has come over me in the last decade. I'll give you an example. I have a mobile phone that remains mostly incommunicado with the outside world. When I get an overseas call from a very dear friend of mine and as we warm up to the conversation my phone goes dead! She keeps telling me to buy a new phone. And a new phone with great features is available for as low as Rs.4000/- But I keep postponing it because my present phone is not completely dead yet.

    If it had been just a decade back, I would have got myself the most expensive one and flaunted it shamelessly. But money is fast losing its relevance as far as I am concerned. My needs are surely increasing but they cannot be bought for money. In such a situation that I am in now, all this talk about what people can do with their money brings only a smile on my face!
    Sri
     
    4 people like this.
  3. Decentguy

    Decentguy New IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,092
    Likes Received:
    572
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Kamalji

    Believe in 1/2 of what you see and nothing of what you hear. We should not say something that " we hear" or are certain of.

    What She has done, no one can do...you, me or anyone else. So lets not say " I hear" she travelled in first class by donation money.

    Talking of Luxury, about the maid thing - It is the circle of life. There are rich and there are poor people. Even in the animal kingdom, there are animals that eat and there are animals that are being eaten. Now if the animals decide that I don't want to eat or kill, then they would starve to death.

    Similarly, in human life we need rich and poor people to balance the circle of life. I just feel lucky that I am where I am and where I was born.

    Sometimes Luxury is not a luxury, it is a necessity. We strive hard and work hard to have that necessity.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,781
    Likes Received:
    20,929
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Kamalji,

    To me, the richest and happiest person in the world is the one who conquered his desires and holds everything he possess as a trustee. One can be happy whether she is rich or poor as long as she knows how to lead life happily by spending within her means. My wife and I started our life at a 400 sq.ft house in Chennai after our marriage and now after 30 years, we live in a nice house of our own in the US which has all the facilities. When we look back our path, it was not an easy ride. We managed living within our means at every stage of life and even now, like you, we lead a simple life within our means. We save wherever possible and spend wherever it is necessary. In simple terms, we lead our life for our own good and not to demonstrate how rich we are to people around us.

    Most importantly, we do a lot of community work to serve the people in need by providing backpacks to children who can't afford to buy them, provide medical facility to the homeless, buy food for those who can't afford to have three meals a day and so on. This helps us to spend within our means after seeing people suffer. We also send regular charitable contributions to our favorite charities in the US and in India depending on the income we make every year.

    Sometime back, when I was visiting a holy person along with a group of people from the US, he was chatting with the ladies who accompanies us in our group. Normally, he used to ask, "what do you want?" and this time strangely he asked, "how many sarees in your wardrobe?" Then he continued that line of questioning with most ladies and they were all blushing to answer the question. The answers ranged from 100 to 500 sarees, 10 to 25 shoes, 20 to 50 lipsticks and so on. Finally, he turned to the men and asked, "how many pants and shirts in your wardrobe?" The answers ranged from 20 to 50.

    He finally defined luxury as "the confusion that you face when you walk into the wardrobe not knowing what to wear for the day". He advised all men and women to respect each other for their qualities and not based on what they wear. He also suggested that, if we don't wear a specific dress/outfit for a prolonged period, to give away to those who are in need. He said we need to buy what we need and not what we desire.

    I know that line of questioning will not stop women in that group from buying more. But at least it will help them to plan and carry a lot of sarees when they go home to India to give away to those in need.

    Viswa
     
    3 people like this.
  5. arch1209

    arch1209 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,942
    Likes Received:
    4,749
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Kamalji

    I appreciate the candor with which you write and it is an excellent topic for a debate. I read both the blogs and thought about them. And forgive me for disagreeing with you and with Dave Higgins :) I think the trouble I have with his argument is that he sort of makes everything into a commodity.

    For instance he says that doctors work hard and hence deserve to be paid better, a doctor deserves to be paid also for the money that he put into his studies. In contrast maybe the lady that helps us with our household work does not deserve to be paid that well because she does not have a college education? I understand the argument that if someone has more education that they should be paid more but what if live in a society that is unjust, where not everyone has the opportunity to go to school and become a doctor. Does that mean their hard-work is not justified.

    My personal belief is that everyone has good in them and if given the right opportunities we can all have what we define as "luxury" Also isn't "luxury" a very subjective term. For someone it could mean getting food on time and for someone else it could mean having royal diets three times a day.

    Nevertheless I want to thank Dave Higgins for giving the link to Brian Buckley's The Perils of Virtue | Brian D. Buckley and while I don't agree with everything he says (like donating money to syria) I do agree with the idea in general. I guess when one talks of luxuries there is no end to one's luxuries.

    I also think one needs to move beyond the idea of charity as social service. I think even the word charity has such a negative connotation, it assumes that one is privileged and has power whereas the other does not. When we can give each other so much, sometimes in way of money and sometimes in way of knowledge, empathy and many other things which cannot be valued. My mom recently told me that the credit for her Phd. goes to the maid that took care of our house, my mom tried to get the maid to educate her family but it did not work out because the maid was just not socialized in an environment where education to girls was given precedence. My mom always say that the maid would often tell her "why are you struggling so much, what is Phd going to give you. Take care of your family..." but my mom says that she never paid attention to it because in many ways the maid gave her much more than she could give her back.

    I think rather than charity we should in fact work towards changing the system that in the first place creates inequality. Why is it that I could go to school but my maid's children could not, I was just lucky because I was born in a family that values education also my family did not have to choose between sending me to school or having dinner on our table. We had the privilege as well to at least get a basic education. That being said I always think that when we talk of charity we also discuss about deserving and undeserving and place value judgment on why someone is spending beyond their means. However, this value judgment is often placed only on the poor.

    There are so many rich, upwardly mobile folks who use credit cards to buy things that they really cannot afford and what about the corruption scams we hear. For instance rich ministers who have money want to make more money at the cost of poor folks? Aren't they also in a way trying to live beyond their means?

    I often wonder what is luxury? How much is enough and I honestly don't know the answer to it. I think I will borrow from what Cheeniya Sir and Viswa have said so well - that happiness is not defined by what we accumulate but the way we live our lives and the decisions we take.

    I remember a few years ago my husband wanted to buy me a particular handbag, I told him I did not want it not because we could not afford it but I saw no reason to purchase it. That handbag would not buy me happiness, I am happy without it as well.
     
    5 people like this.
  6. coolwinds

    coolwinds Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    1,084
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Gender:
    Female
    what a great post, arch1209! as a child i used to look at a laborer pulling one of those heavy carts and wonder how and why is that people who work the hardest are also some of the poorest.

    coming to the thread and the question it poses, it's very easy to justify anything from a personal standpoint. things gets murkier when it comes to the ethics, choices and value of making such a justification.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    5,813
    Trophy Points:
    545
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Gopalan,

    Thank u so much.

    Regards

    kamal

     
  8. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    5,813
    Trophy Points:
    545
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Shymala,

    Yes agreed, why feel guilty, about moving in a swanky car, and having other luxuries. it is yr hard earned money, we are not talking of bookies, crooks and others, we are talking about ordinary honest men, who too can get rich over time, and dont we work hard so that we can pay our luxury bills eh ! We dont count the hours put in, or getting late at nightm but we must finish our jobs. Maids, well , they never listen at all. i too have one, and it is the same story.

    She has a lovely daughter, who is like 12 or 13 now, very sweet, and u wont beleive she is a maid's daughter, so well brought up.

    i love like my own, and since the last two years, i have started to save for her 1000 a month, for 5 years, in a recurring post office depoisit, so that in 60 months it will be like 60,000 and with interest, total 72000 or so, which is what we will give her on her wedding. But the maid does not know, it will be a surprise, we love that girl a lot, this is the least we can do for her.

    in jaipyr Symala, we went to balika sadan, a govt place for orphan girls from 2 to 18 years, well managed and close to my house. on my birthday we went, around 10 years back or so, to give them some food and otehr things, but we were told the place is booked, some fellow is coming to give food, we said ok tell us when we can come, they said, booked for a month. it seems people bring the best fruits and food for them, some 40 kids or so in that ashram, and we decided to back away from there, they did not want clothes, games, magazines anything, ppeople are generous .

    So we backed away for i dont like to stand in line to serve, i am searching for those, who really need help, and i am still looking.

    YEs agreed with u, u have the right to give where u want to.

    Regards

    kamal


     
  9. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    5,813
    Trophy Points:
    545
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Kelly,

    we keep giving to the maids, bcs fristly many people have not learned to say NO, and secondly the fear of losing the maid if we dont give.

    i have no fear at all, i say no, or if i give , cut it in the first salary that is due, simple. you do well to spend judiously, money does not come easy for us.u know how much goes in taxes.Yep spread yr legs as big as the chaddar, no more.

    Regards

    kamal



     
  10. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    13,153
    Likes Received:
    5,813
    Trophy Points:
    545
    Gender:
    Male
    Dear Mindi,

    i feel one is very fortiunate to meet someone needy, or someone in genuine need. i am looking to, and would love to go out of may to help, still looking.

    i have many exporter friends, and we keep needing even uneducated boys and girls in the factories, for threadcutting, being a peopn etc, i have helped many people, in dozens over the years , get jobs, some have risen veyr high over the years, and it gives me great pleasure to help some people on their feet. i want them to work for their living, not live on alms, and since i know both sides , the exporters, and the people who need jobs, it gives double satisfaction when my friends are happy with the people i suggest to them.

    Regards

    kamal


     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page