Learning to Define Luxury Through Discernment…
The past few years have challenged me to examine what it means to live whole.
I have been challenged emotionally, spiritually, financially, and relationally in a way that makes me identify with how Zora Neale Houston described some years as those, ” . . . that ask questions.” These circumstances made me ground down and helped me to examine what I’m actually made of. Boy did I ask myself questions! The fun ones, too, like “Who am I?” “Where did this pain come from?” “Have I always thought/done this/been this way?” “What makes me think this way?” etc. More than any other part of my race thus far, the leg of this part of the life journey has encouraged me to examine how I spend resources; namely where I expend my effort and energy, and what I get from doing so.
Practically, I’ve become more curious, discerning, and dare I say downright picky about the products and consumer goods I allow in my energetic forcefield. A woman who I hold tremendous respect for once told me that it’s important to be picky, so I think that this new appreciation for special examination of the intricacy of most things related to my life is good even if at times doing so, looking with a more discerning perspective, makes me seem like an agitation to people who would prefer that I blindly accept the status quo in any and all circumstances. I don’t take for granted that being able to have choices is a luxury. I’ve decided that especially after this year, regardless of the perceived accessibility and however narrowly defined it appears I have to ask, seek, and discern from a place of personal authenticity. It is the only way live wholly.
It’s important for each of us to exercise our own individual ‘pickiness’ rights.
Regarding discernment generally though, I don’t think that I’d even indirectly ever associated pickiness in and of itself with being disruptive, but I think I do now. For whatever reason, I also feel a burden associated with asking for something outside of the norm because making additional, different, and/or a unique request does require additional effort in some instances, and I respect the effort that I am asking to be used up regardless of whether it’s my own or someone else’s.
I think that specifically requesting our individual needs might slyly and stealthily chip away at the paradigm of mediocracy.
I don’t mind working through the roughness of any agitation that asking for something different might cause. I’m okay with the idea that asking might provoke aggression. I’ve more consistently found that it it’s important to ask for what’s needed in any given circumstance, rather than to settle for what’s provided without question. In the end though, what struggling through the circumstances of this year has taught me most is that asking for my needs to be met, seeking solutions, and working toward collaboration shouldn’t actually be an out of the ordinary type of luxury because it’s what I need to be whole.
We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step. This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator. Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.The Soul Of An Individualist, Ayn Rand