principals of ownership

in some ways there is an envy of the vagabond who owns nothing. non-ownership can often be perceived as freedom, the actual and true definition of freedom. for to own something is to be charged with taking care of that something. but to have nothing is to delight more in action, than in ownership.

“he who dies with the most toys wins.” it’s funny because it’s true. and how much that is owned fluctuates according to how much those around you own. the game of one-upsmanship that leads eventually to an undisputed growth of possessions for the individual.

“the grass is always greener.” if something is not yours, it has an added attraction. even noted as one of the 10 sins, wanting what you don’t own is a part of the human experience. it comes with the perceptional process of contrast and compare; how we size ourselves up against our peers.

yet that is where much unhappiness comes-from, to constantly have in mind the differences between oneself and others. within the great game of win or lose, ownership is the divining rod for that particular reality. but is it reality?

does ownership have anything to do with what and who you are as a person? think back on the vagabond who owns nothing, and is free in action as well as desire. admirable person? or someone you would not like to meet in a back alley?

“nothing left to lose…” yet some of the kindest people are those who own very little. and conversely, those who own much are often ill-tempered and dismissive. the average person looks for the average balance…even so, a great many own so much that their items become a living part of a well-guarded ego.

then there is the puzzle, that if you were to give everything away–if everybody gave everything away, then where would it all go? we reach a saturation level, and more and more simply becomes refuse. less items are fixed, it becomes an antiquated notion to repair anything.

then that which is kept, is almost the perfect shell of our lives; a demonstration of individuality in these dressings of possessions. many owned things are tools, implements that assist a task or daily living. yet even these take on a degree of persona or statement regarding self.

almost all are more concerned on how well a car appears, over how it functions. think on expense for a bare bones vehicle, how different it would be! if focus was on performance, less airpollution and less malfunctions. but slap on a coat of paint and it becomes all about if the color “matches” your personality.

yet there is some freedom within a car and the open road. a choice of direction. wherever you go in a car, the car is there. a thing owned; a responsibility. then of course the car fills up with stuff, and houses fill up with stuff. we might like the IDEA of minimalist living, but the reality is that for a house to be a home, it has to feel lived-in.

some like to take things far into ownership parameters, stating that you own yourself. you own your body, and the mind or spirit somehow holds the title: the first thing you have to take care-of is yourself. i don’t know if that’s true. i think we own the moment, and the moment owns decisions. the body just comes along for the ride.

i think freedom is something you find within joy itself, and often owning something is a joy. it ties into purpose, the construct of needing to be needed. independence is such a prized thing, a part of growing up. but to be needed is the part of growing into reality where what you own is not as important as what everyone can share.

they say there is a tipping point, where you don’t own it, it owns you. all that speaks of personal power, and abilities to disregard the latent effects of ownership; the mothering of a baby. connections that somehow lash us to what we own.

yet actions are truly the greatest possessions of any lifetime. he who dies with the most toys wins? maybe. depends on what you call winning. friendship doesn’t require wealth.



3 Replies to “principals of ownership”

  1. You posit a very thoughtful and incisive view of owning’ things’. I own dogs, but they really own me. Having recently become divorced I have begun to realize just how much they truly mean to me and in so many ways the sacrifices of time, energy et al in assuring them a loving environment. Though it is hard to scratch three dogs at once with only two hands. I am not a thing person, though I like to ‘own’ films, books, music, but they serve a utlitarian purpose in that they are a part of the kind of very basic life I lead. Thank you for your views. >KB

    1. my cat definitely owned me… left a pretty big empty spot when she died. i don’t know if the purpose becomes how well we can care for an animal or pet, but the affection pets give their owners can often be one of the most honest forms of friendship.

      am mostly thinking outloud, myself having recently had to move and taper down possessions-find oneself considering the wisdom of getting more ‘things.’ books, movies, music….. things to pass time, but also the things that tie us to the rest of humanity.

      1. Humanity is hard to escape. And I agree emphaticaslly about pets. They show us the people we can be becauser they love us no matter and when we notice that we make ourselves what to be the people they see. >KB

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