My family started out in a tiny one-room apartment in Tokyo. My parents and my siblings (five of us total), all making do sharing the one room that functioned as the bed room, the living room, and the dining room depending on the time of day. This might be hard to imagine for someone growing up in the United States, but that was just the normal way of life for me and all of my friends. I didn’t think of it much, because I wasn’t even aware that other modes of living existed, other than by fictitious people I saw on TV.
When we moved to California, to put it lightly, the house we moved into was humongous compared to what we were used to. It was as if we had made it in life. I thought to myself, “Wow, we are rich. We are living the life of celebrities.” My perspectives started to shift. I started to think that luxury is about being able to afford nice things: a big house, a big TV, gourmet meals at fancy restaurants, a 5-star resort getaway, and the likes.
It took me a while to discover that I had it all wrong. I finally experienced true luxury when I stopped pursuing material things, and learned to appreciate every little blessing in my daily life. Or, as a wise person put it, “You can’t wear nice clothes to heaven.”