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Pay close attention.  You’re gonna have homework with this one!

 I’ve noticed while watching television lately that all the commercials are touting these newfangled phones, tennis shoes, trips and other items as ‘absolutely must haves’.  The way I view it, the only must have about them is I would have to a) have a translator and an instructions coach to even turn the electronics on and b) have a loan officer who really loved me to be able to come up with the money for the tennis shoes.  The trips?  No loan officer in his right mind loves me that much.

I can’t help but wonder why these items are needed.  A pair of tennis shoes I get, but only the ones that cost about $20.00 (which I still consider being robbed without a gun), not the ones that cost well over $100.00.  The Country Boy remembers being a young child, just starting school, and being very proud when his Mama would go shopping at Sears and buy him one new pair of Tough Skin jeans (two if he was really, really lucky) and one new pair of shoes that would have to be worn for school, church and any other function, as needed.  I remember getting hand-me-downs from my sisters, with relatively very few brand new clothes.  I did get shoes, but that was only because I couldn’t fit into my sisters’.  Yet today’s kids seem to think they can’t start school without a whole closet full of new clothes and shoes.  Even those who are required to wear uniforms seem to make up the cost savings by purchasing expensive shoes.

 This really makes me wonder what ‘luxury’ means today.  The World Book Dictionary defines it as “1) the comfort and beauties of life beyond what is really necessary;  2) the use of the best and most costly food, clothes, houses, furniture, and amusements; 3) a thing that a person enjoys, usually something choice and costly; 4) any form or means of enjoyment or self-gratification.”    Numbers 1-3 seem to be the ones that people today are using, however they actually don’t consider the items they ‘have to have’ as luxuries, but necessities. 

A true luxury is much more down to earth than the latest I Pod or cost prohibitive footwear.  A roof over one’s head would fit the definition.  Good health.  Food on the table would also get my vote.  The Country Boy is hanging tight to wanting the luxury of a tractor with an air-conditioned cab, but I keep telling him that it is pure luxury to have just a plain old tractor that runs, instead of having to cut the hay with a scythe. 

 I also define luxury as my farm.  It is a lot of work, but is also my form of enjoyment.  Randy and I do not, however, consider it to be unnecessary.  This farm not only feeds our family, but feeds others as well and provides us an income.  It is sad to think that a job in today’s society is both an absolute necessity and a luxury.  My other ‘luxuries’ seem to be a little more down-to-earth, and most of the population probably wouldn’t understand it.  A healthy newborn calf.   Having a better than 50% hatching rate with baby chicks.  Air conditioning in the house in the heat of the summer is a true luxury I prefer not to do without.  My family.  My greatest luxury is the freedom to worship God, with being married to Randy coming in a close second.  And my freedom in the USA is a top priority luxury – one I hope I never take for granted.

Now.  Here is your homework.  Take a good look at your own lifestyle.  What do you consider a necessity and what would you consider a luxury?  Take the time to figure out just what your true luxuries are.  Is it that new sofa, or is it being able to see a gorgeous sunset?  Is it a new massive sized flat screen t.v. or is it being able to grow a tomato plant and share the excess with your neighbor?  In my opinion, it’s time for society to go back to what true luxury is, and be grateful for those, rather than whine and pitch a hissy because we can’t have the material things we feel we need to survive.  What about you?