My goodness, today I begin my 64th year on this planet. That means that it's my 63rd birthday for those of you who get confused by such things. All I asked for was a new iPod, and I already received it when we were all together last week. It's a spiffy little red one, the colour that supports Bono's effort to fight AIDS in Africa. I'm glad the family thought to add that nice touch, but there is another part of me that feels a bit funny about having this iPod even though it's what I asked for.
You see, I was the first in the family to purchase an iPod almost five years ago. I dithered a lot before I made the leap, but it has proved useful over the years in ways that I don't need to detail here and now. I say that I dithered before purchasing it because it's a frivolous item — really frivolous. After much angst, I capitulated and bought the thing but still felt some subsequent pangs of guilt.
Five years later, that pod being on its last legs (if you can picture that), I asked and received for a new one for my birthday this year. It's not an iTouch, iPhone or iPad but just a little Nano for goodness sakes, but I still feel the odd twinge of guilt because I could surely live without an iPod of any sort, and my old one still more or less functions.
To some extent we all now begin to think it's necessary to have computers, cell phones and myriad other goodies. We can't seem to live without them. Most of us have both cell phone and multiple land phones, and both varieties must have such features as call answer, call forwarding, caller id and whatnot. We have satellite dishes for our multiple televisions which must carry hundreds of channels lest we feel deprived. There was a time when all the telephone did was ring and all the television channels we received were twelve ... if we were lucky.
Times have changed. I like my toys and comforts as much as the next guy or gal, maybe even more than most, and I own my share. But I still sometimes feel a little guilty over possessing unnecessary luxury items such as this. As I said, I like to have them, but I think also experiencing the odd guilt twinge about having so much in this inequitable world isn't such a bad thing.