Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner, or before taking their rest; when they are sick or aged. In the morning, or when their intellect or their conscience has been aroused, when they hear music, or when they read poetry, they are radicals.
Taking care of our planet is like taking care of our houses. Since we human beings come from nature, there is no point in our going against nature, which is why i say the environment is not a matter of religion or ethics or morality. These are luxuries, since we can survive without them. But we will not survive if we continue to go against nature.
The castle-building habit, the day-dreaming habit - how it grows! What a luxury it becomes; how we fly to its enchantments at every idle moment, how we revel in them, steep our souls in them, intoxicate ourselves with their beguiling fantasies - oh, yes, and how soon and how easily our dream-life and our material life become so intermingled and so fused together that we can't quite tell which is which, anymore.
What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap to freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it that would give whatever chance for hope there was. Of course, hope meant being cut down on some street corner, as you ran like mad, by a random bullet. But when i really thought it through, nothing was going to allow me such a luxury. Everything was against it; i would just be caught up in the machinery again.
I've weaned myself down to about, on a great day, on a really great day, three cigarettes. For a nicotine junkie the essential cigs are three: the first-of-the-day cigarette smoked after lunch, the after-dinner cigarette and then the one taken whenever you want - the luxury-wild-card smoke. It used to be quite a bit more. It used to be, i'd smoke the table. I'd smoke the patch. I'd smoke the gum. So i feel good about it.
The true southern watermelon is a boon apart, and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world'd luxuries, king by grace of god over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat. It was not a southern watermelon that eve took: we know it because she repented.
The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior 'righteous indignation' this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.
One day there springs up the desire for money and for all that money can provide the superfluous, luxury in eating, luxury in dressing, trifles. Needs increase because one thing calls for another. The result is uncontrollable dissatisfaction. Let us remain as empty as possible so that god can fill us up.
For too long the development debate has ignored the fact that poverty tends to be characterized not only by material insufficiency but also by denial of rights. What is needed is a rights-based approach to development. Ensuring essential political, economic and social entitlements and human dignity for all people provides the rationale for policy. These are not a luxury affordable only to the rich and powerful but an indispensable component of national development efforts.