Ask any random pool of people on the street about what our modern life’s luxuries are, and you will likely receive a pretty decent selection of answers, most settling around high-priced consumer goods, brand name clothing and accessories, modern amenities of ‘civilized’ life, etc.
Ask people to define “luxury” for you, and they will surely come up with a variation of a definition which includes something that is either difficult or very expensive to obtain, which is non-essential, but at the same time deemed by most to be very desirable.
I would also like to throw an additional strand out there, for purposes of thought… What about the luxury of “know-how”, “knowledge” and “expertise”??? Are those not even far more expensive in our daily lives, often difficult to obtain, hard to maintain, and yes, often very desirable, particularly when we are not (or cannot be) in possession of it at a time when we need it most?
How often must we hire a trained or skilled professional for a particular task, because we ourselves LACK the required know-how, skill or expertise (or time?)?
How often must we simply throw out and replace something of value, because we lack the know-how or skill (or time?) to figure out how to repair it, when oftentimes the repair would be more economical?
How often do we simply pay someone else to do something for us, because we feel they can do it faster, easier and [hopefully] better, than we can?
How much money could we save if we invested more time and effort in our own selves to LEARN new things, acquire new skills?
While oftentimes those who possess a certain requisite body of knowledge, skill or experience, — which is useful to us, — are thankful that we DO NOT share it and therefore NEED (or WANT) them to do something for us, we consciously make a calculated effort to weigh ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ in our brain:
- our skills, talents and experience (the sum of our life-long accumulated know-how, or lack thereof), including a reckoning of what we’re lacking, and what it would take to “obtain” the required knowledge, if possible or feasible,
- our present need to have a particular task accomplished, and any level of urgency, if any,
- the cost of having to hire someone else to do it for us, assuming we hire the “RIGHT” person to do it properly the first time, or to maximize our chances of success at least,
- the overall balancing of cost in terms of effort, time, money and other resources required for completion of our task or objective.
Once we have somehow made an attempt to answer these 4 considerations in our minds, which can take anywhere from a few seconds to many weeks or months (of procrastination), depending on what’s at stake, we still haven’t even really addressed the issue of how WE VALUE OUR OWN TIME. What price or other symbol of value can we reasonably attach to our own time? (neglecting for a moment the value of time of others)
We know it’s a limited commodity. We don’t know how much of it we do have. Who, other than ourselves, can tell us what our time is worth? Can we even fix a price ourselves? Based on what criteria? Based on what data?
My guess would be that there could be endless discussions on whether people OVER-value or UNDER-value their time. While some might view their price of THEIR time as $X,XXX.xx / [time-increment], others might conclude it’s either too high or too low. But who’s really to say?
Even if I arrive at what I consider a fair value for my time, I have to come to an understanding with my Self and others as to how I wish to spend my time and what I’m willing to give in exchange for my time.
I think that THIS, perhaps more than any other worldly possession or good we could ever hold, is a true measure of luxury. What are we willing to give and receive in barter for our time, when we don’t know what our account balance ever is, in terms of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.
We constantly make withdrawals from this account, and sometimes even let other people and circumstances make debits from our account, either with or without our consent, yet we never receive a periodic account statement showing a running balance.
Every midnight, we have 86,400 seconds until the next midnight. We should be more conscious in terms of how we spend them. They tick away regardless of what we do with them, and we cannot stockpile them, transfer them, or get an “I-O-U” for them and loan them out.