A Word A Week Challenge – Decadent (The Manor – wherein I do not take things at face value)

Posted: August 21, 2013 in Commentary, Economics, Inspiration, Miscellaneous, Photography, Random Thoughts
Tags: , , , ,

The Manor

As always you have presented us with an interesting photo challenge with the word decadent and one that, while at first glance seems straight-forward, actually raises a whole host of not easily answered questions (of course that is just me being me).

“Decadent” essentially means immorally self-indulgent. Caligula (Roman emperor, megalomaniac and overall very bad guy) would be considered the prototypical example of someone who plumbed the depths of decadence. By that standard, the owners of the Manor are Mother Theresa many times over.

This photo of a tiny bit of the Manor presents us with an example of what might be considered decadent by many. But is it? The owners, who I know, certainly made interesting decorating choices in a very large home, but they like to fill their available space. I wouldn’t consider them immoral, or at least no more so than any of us who somehow manage to live our lives keeping most of what we have while many millions of people around the world are in dire need (I am in the former group and have no moral justification for it).

So where do we draw the line of what is decadent or not (i.e., immoral self-indulgence)? Is it at the extravagance of the Manor or something less, like having indoor plumbing with hot running water? (An unheard of luxury for most of the world’s population.) How about reliable electricity or a safe, reliable and relatively inexpensive automobile for the family? Having any of the foregoing would put you at or near the top of the food chain in most of the world. Are we decadent because these things are so commonplace for many of us that we don’t even think about them. If the truth be told, perhaps the most decadent thing we do might be eating meat (which I do) especially meat produced by animals fed by grains which are grown in fields that might otherwise be put into production for food for people (guilty again).

I am not an activist on these issues and never have been, but as I said above, when you really think about it, what is decadent is not all that simple of a question to answer especially in a world where many people do not even have food security for themselves and their family.

  1. seeker says:

    Ahhhh… The “G” word. I wouldn’t use decadent anymore now that it is associates with “G” the monsters. I normally use decadent in relation to eating chocolate.


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