Why There Is Nothing Wrong With Luxuries
I do not have an issue with luxuries. Many luxury products are made well by artisans and cost more because they are well made. They last a very long time, can be sold or given away when no longer useful to oneself, and are eagerly accepted and used by others for many more years. These luxury items, if they are used, surely constitute wealth.
What I do not like is that most things being made nowadays are shoddy, cheaply made and disposable. They do not work well. They split the wholeness of the producer, split the wholeness of Mother Earth herself, and destroy the wholeness of the person trying to use the product.
I would suggest that 99% of everything bought and sold in the United States, where I now live, belongs in this category. This mass-produced garbage makes its way into garbage dumps, after being carefully placed in plastic garbage bags, almost as soon as it is produced.
That which we use is wealth. That which we don't use is illth. It follows that that which we can use well is wealth and that which we can't use well is illth. Thus luxuries which are used well are wealth whereas many so-called necessities are illth.
Gandhiji said that a group of people were just the masses. It was only when they had interrelationships that they became a society. In the same way our modern mass produced goods are like rudderless ships, causing much havoc and destruction. They are mass illth. To have a society, our products must be capable of interrelationships with people, other products and Mother Earth.
Let us then embrace well made, well thought out products that are more expensive rather than less and each according to our means buy the most luxurious things that are of use to us in our daily lives.
Now that is really living! And that is why there is nothing wrong with luxuries.
Posted by Abhay Burjor Ghiara at 3/21/2015