Those extra bucks – Akshay Ravi
My life is as ordinary as it can get. Very basic. I wake up and think what to eat. Fast forward a few hours into the day, I am sitting at my office desk and thinking what to eat. At evening I will be sipping a cup of coffee or tea, depending on my mood that time, thinking about what to do for dinner. I mean, if that is not basic, I do not know what is. For me food is the most basic and yet the most essential thing in life. And for the same reason, let us put the plate away from the table. Have a closer look at the surroundings where you are having your food now. There must be a reason why you are enjoying this place that you have chosen for dinner. Look up and take a look at those chandeliers. Don’t they give out the perfect amount of light? Take a look at the crockery. Are they authentic Porcelain? You cannot help but appreciate the finesse with which the waiter serves you. You can also not help but to be ashamed to acknowledge the fact that he/she has a better accent than you do. You look around and observe other people. They all look classy and show off their expensive smartphones and watches. They all behave so sophisticated. You also try to match them. You also realize that you have to have better accessories the next time you visit some place like this. Better clothes too. Tomorrow is a Sunday and now you know what to do. But is it not almost the end of the month? Are you not running out of your salary? Well, that’s the credit card for.
The above description is from my life and yours too. I am writing this while I am still being a victim of that venomous behavior. I thought if I can write about it, then I might well be able to do something about it at a later point of time. Almost all of us are victims of ‘Lifestyle abuse’. That is what I would like to call it, ‘Lifestyle Abuse’. We try to match up to things that we cannot afford for. We eat from places that eat more than you from your wallet. We buy material things just as an attempt to impress others. But did you impress yourself? When was the last time you did something to impress yourself? I used to jump steps when I was a kid. Initially, I could just do two. But I tried each day and more harder than I did the previous day. You need to understand that there was no one who was watching me. I was not trying to impress anyone but me. I would rather that no one sees me, because I probably would have gotten a beating for this. A few days later, I was skipping four steps. I was impressed.
We do not skip steps anymore, not at least when we are alone. And if we do, we might hurt ourselves as we did not practice enough. Unnecessary upgrade of your lifestyle is the longest step that you are going to skip without any practice. What are the chances of you crossing it successfully? I would say very slim. You would end up hurting yourself. You might hurt your knees so bad, that you might not be able to jump again. Think about it.
When I started this article, I was describing the place where you went to grab the dinner. I was talking about the aesthetics of it which you think is worthy the amount you pay for. But is it? We all fall for it. Beautifully designed space with off beat wall paint and expensive chandeliers. Throw into them some abstract paintings and you are all set. The food will be good, I assure you. But not good enough to pay that fat bill. You will console yourself that you did not pay just for the food, but for those walls, chandeliers and paintings. This is debatable. You might reach a point in your life when you would be able to afford all these without taking a hit. But if you are young and is early into your career, you might well practice skipping a few steps before that long leap off the ground. Grow gradually and carefully. Before you spend those extra bucks for the aesthetics, think if it is necessary.
There are people living below basic. They do not have food to eat or water to drink. That 1000 rupees mineral water with real ocean extracts and packed in a beautiful glass bottle, is as valuable as the water from a puddle to them. Because they do not have the luxury to think about aesthetics, let alone paying for them. You can argue about my logic. I would not argue back, because like I mentioned before, I am still a victim of Lifestyle Abuse. I fall into that category of people who pay those extra bucks. Are you one among us?