What is status?
Entry prompted by one of our dinner guests telling us that we should move out of our present place and go somewhere “befitting our status.” What is status? Seems to be just the fact that we have more money than, say, ten years ago. Otherwise, we seem to be exactly the same people we were. Our friends are, spiritually and,even more important, geographically, all around us, where we need not take long car rides to visit them or vice versa. What will we find in an apartment building or a house which “befits our status”? Will the new neighbours be as warm as these? Can I leave my front door open whenever I wish, totally secure? How long will it take me to set up a lifestyle such as this, where I can walk or cycle to accomplish all my work, and take out that polluting device, the car, only when absolutely necessary?
How does having more money make us different? How does it make our needs…apart from the basic ones…different? I don’t feel we will be any happier than we are right now. In fact, when I compare myself, I do so not with the swank apartments which cost crores..but with the people I see who live in little tenements and hovels. I think I already lead a very luxurious life by Indian standards. Will having more material comforts or luxuries make me, somehow, a better person? If that is so, how do I keep upgrading material comforts?
When I am very happy, why the need for change? Just because our bank balance looks healthier? What is status, what is style, what is luxury and what is basic necessity?