What is Luxury?
Luxury items are those things that are expensive and/or desirable in only a selected few places or by a select few people. For example, cars are a luxury item for the elite, but a common car is a luxury item for the masses. Similarly, clothing is a luxury item, but a low-cost, good quality clothing is not. So then, is jewelry a luxury item? Well, depending on whom you ask, and what your definition of luxury is, jewelry can be either.
Luxury, as a concept has been around since the ancient world, when gladiators, athletes, and celebrities were considered to be above average human beings, so they received more lavish treatment than non-celebrities. As modern society has developed somewhat and increased social mobility, some people, such as politicians and business executives, have become well-heeled, which gives them a certain amount of “covetousness,” or so the philosopher Aristotle explained it. This has led many to define luxury as an attitude or outlook that one can only get from affluence, success, and education, or else be associated with poverty, lack of education, and social disarray.
However, others disagree, especially those who have seen the poor condition of many that are rich today, and those who feel that true luxury comes from affluence, success, and art, not money or material possessions. Still others define luxury as not having to work a second job, being able to enjoy a vacation, a new dress, or a new car, etc., and not having to go into debt to do so. A few would say that luxury is a style of living that comes from hard work, but others believe that it is a luxury when someone can afford to eat out at fine restaurants, take a nice cruise, go to the movies, and not have to worry about where their next meal or accommodation will come from. Thus, if one wishes to measure the luxury one could say that it is a willingness to accept the less enjoyable aspects of life in exchange for a greater degree of happiness.