Beware of Luxury

We usually find sign boards with a caption, “Beware of dogs” at the house gates or “Beware of pickpockets” in metro trains, public buses and crowded places. But here I have a strange kind of caution for you –“Beware of luxury”. Why this caution after all?

Luxury, comforts, shortcuts, etc. are very much part of lives.  Who does not want luxurious and comfortable life? Just think of the kinds of luxury and comforts we have in our homes. Our houses are self-contained with toilets, bathrooms, well-furnished rooms with beds, sofas, tables and chairs.  Electricity, water supply, television, refrigerators, and computers- all are at our service. If we lack anything, we just give a call and pay later; and things come to our door.

Think of the luxury and comfort we often look for in our means of transportation. In most cases public city buses could fulfill our needs. But, then we won’t use them. We would prefer private vehicles, cars and motorbikes, no matter how much fuel prices go up. The number of cars and private vehicles running in our roads is growing high so much that we need our roads to be widened year by year. Yet, many times we face traffic jams. These few examples are enough to initiate the process of self-introspection as to how consciously or unconsciously, we long for luxury and comforts. Do we often look back our lives and check whether our life is governed merely by our wants and needs or by our values?

Excuse me. I am not here to criticize anybody. I am not against modernism and development either. I am just pondering our basic human tendency. I remember the feelings and emotions that I had five days back when I had to change my well furnished and well-equipped room in a three storey building to a tiled bungalow. I had difficult times. Several thoughts came to my mind, “Oh! I will have to walk some 50 meters to go to toilets and bathrooms. Hereafter I will miss showers I used to enjoy previously, etc.” Yes. I too enjoy luxury and comforts. That is my basic human tendency. And I suppose this is true with you too. Thanks to science and technologies that human lives have become more luxurious and comfortable now than a few decades ago.

However, in my case at the moment at least, I had a change in my life with the change of little less luxurious and less comfortable room. I have learnt an important lesson from this little change that I had to make. The lesson is that luxury begets laziness, pride, weakness, inertia and all sorts of evil habits. Now, you may agree or disagree with this. But, this is the lesson I have learnt. You might laugh at it. But, I tell you. Previously I used to set alarm to get up in the morning and there would a common bell for rising up. Despite that I used to get only after 5.00 am. A typical case of my laziness!  Now I have put a sign post with a caution, “Beware of Luxury”, not at the door of my room but somewhere at the back of my head, not to remind others but to myself. That’s the reason now I can get up easily at 4.30 am.

So, better beware of luxury! This caution may not apply to you so much. You might be master of yourself. However, you are welcome to look into your personal life whether this fact holds true. Sure, modern means of luxury and comforts might be our need but we must not forget to question where exactly they lead us. You must not be blinded with the unexamined assumptions like, “If s/he can have it, why not I? I can afford so I must have it, etc.” You must learn to bargain with your wants, needs and values. Or else you will be trapped into the snares of luxury and comforts.

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