What Owns You

Hands in chains

Compulsion. We think it’s a disorder–OCD. Most of us, we say, are above it. We’re in control.

But really, that’s a delusion. So many things control out lives. And adding more irony is that we are keenly aware of it.

The device you’re probably reading this on: How many times a day do you check it? If you’re an average person, the answer is 80 times per day. Eighty! Who’s in control?

It’s no great revelation that the stuff we own ends up owning us. But it’s helpful to occasionally remind ourselves of this.

Tyler Durden Fight Club quote the things you own end up owning you
People knock Fight Club, but the book and movie resonate for a reason.

Lots of these things are vampires, leeching us of or time, money, and energy. Time, money, and energy that could be put to more productive use. It’s bad enough that we don’t really own much of the stuff we think we do . . . and then, this stuff turns around and owns us.

I know that I myself have several things that own me, physical good or otherwise. These keep me from doing what I really want to do and know that I should do: write, read, pray, work out, play music, think, and so on.

Bela Lugosi Count Dracula

A caveat: These things don’t interfere with family time. When I’m with my family, the screens are out of sight. That’s an iron clad rule, and it’s one that’s easy to follow, because my wife and I keep each other in check (this will be important later on), and quite frankly it’s embarrassing wasting so much time on this stuff. Continue reading “What Owns You”

Ownership?

I paid off my car this month. After six years, it is finally mine. At last, I own it. 

And I don’t just mean “I have physical possession of the vehicle.” I mean that it’s mine

It is a debt that has been completely, fully paid off. 

Which got me thinking about how little any of us actually own. 

America prides itself on being a land where you can have your own piece of the pie. In fact, homeownership itself at some point became synonymous with “The American Dream.”

As one who went from house to apartment and is again looking for a house, I can tell you that being a “homeowner” is a misnomer. You really “own” nothing. 

Your bank owns the house until you pay off the mortgage some thirty years later. And even then, if you don’t pay your property taxes, the State can do all sorts of fun legal things to make you pay…including putting a lien on your house. 

I suppose if you’re a homesteader, you can perhaps get around some of this. But there are so few ways to be truly left aloneContinue reading “Ownership?”