The Cost of Luxury

Posted: September 29, 2010 in Latest Rants

Its gotten me thinking – where do we draw the line between spending on ourselves and spending on others? Let’s say I have 500 bucks in my pocket – all of it disposable income – I can either spend all 500 of it on myself as I am sure I have earned it (the money and the rare occasion to do so) – or I can spend 300 on myself and use 200 on something else or someone else. I usually wonder – do most people think like that? Is it wrong to think otherwise – or to be able to omit thinking about others? We all know that no matter where we are – there are people without food in their bellies, clothes on their backs and roofs over their heads. Is this knowledge selective? Can people, in other words, choose to shut this out when they splurge on themselves?

Someone recently told me – “there is a time and place for charity” – and spending $1,200 a night on a hotel room during a vacation was not one of these times. Is it just me – or will anyone else go for a $400 a night room and put about $300 aside to give to a food bank or to a local non-profit or even a religious social outreach program? This is not to dismiss people’s right to spend and to enjoy (sometimes rare) occasions to do so. If one works hard, one has every right to splurge on oneself. I, however, would not be able to shut out that fact that the 1,200 night is but 10 hours long at the most – a momentary pleasure that I probably will not remember much of 3 years down the road. But the $300 I give away – well, it might just get someone in need through another day.

When we choose to spend on just ourselves, what is the cost of such luxury?


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