Simplicity: “Absence of Luxury”



Absence of luxury. That was one of the definitions of “simplicity” when I looked it up this week, looking for inspiration for my post. The idea really spoke to me.

An absence of luxury.

What a novel concept, especially in America. Do any (well, many) of us really “deny” ourselves luxury? Probably not. At least not long term.

Sure, our teens participate in the 30-hour famine, but they don’t have to live a life of hunger every day.

We may fast for religious purposes, but we don’t really know what it’s like to deny ourselves much of anything for any significant length of time.

There’s “screen-free week” that a lot of people participate in each spring. But that’s only a week. Does it really change your life in the long term?

I’m not sure. But I’m thinking probably not.

I’m sure those aren’t the only examples of what we “first-worlders” do to try to show that we’re “living simple lives” or “empathizing with the rest of the world” either. I just can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

Now, I don’t want this post to be a total downer, so let’s look for ways that phrase, absence of luxury, can be something good in our lives.

I suppose the best place to start would be to define “luxury.” This will be different for each one of us. For me, I’d have to say that luxury means having a lot of really nice stuff, lots of money to always be able to do or buy what you want, and a comfy cozy house.

I have part of that list, but not the whole thing. I live in an American house, which by its very nature is going to be more luxurious than a mud hut in Africa or Asia. But I’ve chosen to live without other things that a lot of people consider “necessities.” I don’t have a stand mixer, for example. Owning one would make my life a lot easier. But I don’t feel the need to go out and buy one.

Absence of luxury.

For about four years, we didn’t have a clothes dryer.  It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work with air drying our clothes and utilizing the laundromat dryers. (Some friends from church recently got a new one, even though their old one was working just fine, and gifted said old one to us.)

Absence of luxury.

I’ve never had a food processor, and my blender broke a few months ago. I just figure out ways to work around not having those items. Sometimes it means we can’t try a certain recipe. Sometimes it just means I chop things by hand. Either way . . .

Absence of luxury.

I think denying ourselves things can be a good exercise in self discipline. It’s easy to just get whatever you want (and believe me, I’ve been guilty of doing just that before). But is it healthy? I don’t think so, and it doesn’t matter whether you live a minimalist – or aspiring minimalist – lifestyle or not. Showing control over your desires is a very good thing, no matter who you are or what your station in life is.

I hope I’ve offered something to think about today.

What are your absences of luxury?





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One thought on “Simplicity: “Absence of Luxury”

  1. Sanz @ From The Mrs. 04/24/2014 at 7:26 am Reply

    This is really interesting. I’ve never looked up the actual definition of simplicity, but “absence of luxury” is fascinating. I guess, in part, because I often think simple is luxurious! 🙂 I don’t have a food processor but I do have a Bosch mixer (a wedding gift) and a blender (my husband couldn’t live without his protein smoothies. LOL!) Great words of wisdom.

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