“I’m stocking up on Aesop body wash. Do you want?” he asked before splurging hundreds on his favourite toiletteries. “No” I replied “You should enjoy the luxury of bathing in it!” he tried to convince me. “Luxury to me is a bar of twenty ringgit handmade soap made with shea butter and essential oil”
Point? Luxury is personal. Another thing I always know: luxury cannot always be measured with money. Unfortunately, a recent appalling event shows that it seems to be an unpopular belief. Some people put a price tag on you based on the stuff you have, or rather the stuff you display.
I was rather disturbed. It seems that the mentality of the masses is that everyone would put their best things on public display; if you don’t it means that you lack of them. What’s more disconcerting is a person worth could be judged base entirely on something as trivial as things!
Luxury is personal. Here’s a mix of expensive and more affordable things on my bedside table e.g Diptyque candle, complimentary sleeping mask, small bottle of virgin coconut oil from a friend, orchid displayed in recycled tin can and handwoven box by Kadazan-dusun people. But each and every of them are of great value to me.
Contrarily I prefer to keep my most precious things private, especially material things. Perhaps, I’m trying to steer conversation away from people and things only. It’s too easy to talk about about who someone went out with or a brand new bag, for they are tangible.
So I try to limit showing things or people, and preferring to air my thoughts instead. I really do hope it’ll lead to better conversations on various topics…travel, music, finance, books, religion, economics, politics, philosophy, sports…anything substantial and positive.
Perhaps many may think that I’m too idealistic. But I believe because I don’t settle, I do get constant dose of fulfilling conversation, and surrounded by people who don’t equate quality with currency. They know that luxury is personal, happiness can be derived from the simplest things, and that elegance lies in discretion.
This episode reminds me of one of my favourite quotes by Oscar Wilde: “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.” I will not be valued by the price of things I use, but by the quality of my thoughts and sincerity in my actions.