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ruthless compassion
Today, I am thankful for my luxuries. In truth, I need so little to live, and in fact, I have so much, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that most of what I have is luxuries. I look around my room, and take stock of the stuff and things that I own, and, yes, probably 90% of what I own is luxury. How many changes of clothing do I really need? All of those books -- will I really read every one of them again? My pantry is stocked with enough food to feed me and my roommates for a month.

No, I don't need all of these things, but I like having them. I like having options when choosing my outfit, or different kinds of sheets, or pictures of my friends and family. Today, I appreciate that my life has these luxuries, the icing on the cake, which, while unnecessary, add so much.

I have also been thinking, recently, about how easy it is to get caught up in the desire for more stuff and more things. I've had my cell phone for almost 3 years, and it was a basic model to start with; now, there are hundreds of nifty phones that could make my life better: pictures! keyboards! internet! The desire for new gadgets is a seductive one. But... do I really need a new phone? And what will happen with my old phone? It will, eventually, be just another piece of trash. This is a good metric for me to use in deciding on new toys: I obviously don't need it, but how much will it improve my life if I get it? I like my luxuries, but I don't want to be owned by them.

So, today, I'm also thankful for skepticism, which will, I hope, prevent my luxuries from taking over my life or from becoming necessities, even if only in perception.