Nothing gives one a sense of proper perspective about life than a piece of frippery. Those completely silly items that may or may not be functional, but have come into existence just to please the senses.
For me, the silliness and complexity of modern society is represented by my razor with a scented handle.
Yep, my leg razors smell nice. In fact, not only are the squishy handles scented, they come in three fragrances. Why? I guess so I can pretend I'm shaving in a beach hut in Bora Bora I guess.
And every time I pick one up I marvel not only at a culture that has comes a scant few hundred years from indoor plumbing to this; but at just how privileged my life is. That I can afford not only disposable razors, but ones that are slightly more expensive because they smell nice.
I once worked with a lady who had grown up in what was then Rhodesia. Now in her 50s, she told me that one of the things that amazed her most about Australia after fleeing a dictatorship were tissues. She'd never known of their existence. She couldn't get over the fact that we had these thin disposable pieces of paper to blow our noses on instead of a handkerchief.
And so, whenever I'm in the shower shaving my legs, I ponder a life where not only do luxuries such as tissues and scented-handle razors exist, but the fact that I have such a nice life that I can afford them.
I guess it's not always war, poverty and injustice that can help you put things in perspective. A careful examination of one's own life yields surprising insights.
What makes you realise you're lucky?