I think luxury is overrated.
Many of you probably don’t hold the same opinion.
That’s okay, but I’m going to use this space to try to justify my take because I think having too much luxury can reduce the quality of our lives…like when things that started off as treats stop giving us pleasure and turn into needs.
I’ve held these views for most of my adult life, but I must admit I’ve moved closer to the ‘easy is good’, western life style since I moved to the UK.
Some recent events, however, have helped remind me that difficult can be good as well. One of them was a car problem and the other was a display of natural beauty.
I mentioned last week that my vehicle was going to be out of action for a while due to a computer-controlled exhaust problem.
The car is still with the mechanic, so I’ve been spending several hours a day riding my bicycle back and forth between the places I normally drive.
Not really a hardship, but less comfortable and convenient than using the car.
It is still winter over here, so the rides have been wet and cold, but I have been able to avoid much of the traffic by riding on paths and back lanes and I have really enjoyed being outdoors for much of the day.
Yes, I could have been riding buses or I could have rented a car while mine was being repaired, but I am glad I haven’t.
I’m also glad I usually resist wearing a hat and gloves during winter. That’s because when I put them on during these rides, my head and hands have felt luxuriously warm.
That would not have been the case if I hadn’t put up with a little bit of cold in the past.
I’m hoping the same sort of appreciation will hit me when I get my car back and I can cover more miles in less time and carry larger loads.
The second event that caught my attention was a magnificent sunset.
Yes, they have them over here, but they don’t happen nearly as often as they do in Botswana because the clouds are usually covering the horizon.
But here’s the thing, when I do see a truly brilliant one in Britain, I think I may appreciate it more because it feels like a luxury.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Botswana sunsets are as magnificent as any you could find anywhere in the world, but they happen all the time, so it is easy to take them for granted.
And to tell you the truth, I prefer Botswana sunrises to the sunsets.
The birds are singing, and the mosquitos are asleep… and so are most of the other people.
And I think it is the effort of getting out of bed early that makes watching them more special than seeing the sun set at the end of the day.
So, yes, I believe luxury can be overrated, but what I’m really driving at… or perhaps I should say peddling at, is that it is always a relative term, and without a bit of hardship, luxury loses some of its charm.