The strange thing about the concept of ownership is that it does not really work.
The truth is that you don’t own things. They own you.
The little girl in the image is chasing bubbles; just as we chase our own dreams. But they do not just burst and disappear as we may think. They stay forever in our minds as happy memories, and then become the stepping-stones of our future.
So how do we define ownership?
Is it simply the fact that you paid money to acquire some material object like a house or a car or an original Van Gogh?
That you made a transaction which proves that the object is now yours and this is recorded on a piece of paper? That you live in your home and therefore the old rule of ‘possession is nine-tenths of the law’ is correct?
So, go out and buy a house for a million dollars. You will soon realise that despite all the hard work you put into saving the deposit and slaving your guts out to pay the monthly mortgage, it is not really yours. So don’t kid yourself.
You see there are always lots of other interests at play in your new home; your spouse, your kids, and the bank which has a stake in it.
This is not to mention your mother-in-law (bless her soul) who also has a vested interest, and relatives who you never heard of before and suddenly appear after living under rocks for many years. They may also be interested in a wind-fall if you pass away without leaving a Will.
Things don’t just suddenly belong to us. Because you paid money for them does not mean that they are yours exclusively.
You need to think too that ownership is just a conceptual and transitory thing. You get divorced (as many of us do) and suddenly your property is split in two. Or your business goes down the tubes and your home is foreclosed because you have missed the mortgage payments for months.
And then the divorce goes through, and you are out on your own in the cold world whilst you try to keep up with the mortgage payments and pay child support for your off-spring too.
The real word to use in this situation is “borrowed” and not “owned”.
We do not live forever and we can only enjoy the things we possess for a limited time, and then we leave the world, bare-assed the same way we came into it.
You see the only things in life that we can truly say belong to us are our dreams, our pride, our dignity, our kindness and the love we share with others. These are the things that life can never take away from us . . .
There is an interesting theory going around that things attach themselves to us; like clothes and handbags to women and sports cars and fast boats to men.
We don’t really need them but they find their way to us. We have no choice because these objects are made from molecules which have been trained to search out potential hosts.
They live in your brain; and go around your mind like tiny robots which bribe your neurons with sweet dreams and persuade you to have more possessions.
So, never take things for granted, because they never are.