What Do We Own, Really?

When we say we own something, what is it that decides that we have ownership over it?

What is ownership when, even the life that is in our body is not our own? We do not determine when we get it nor can we hold on to it when our times come. So what do we mean by ownership?

We work for money; some merely make money. Perhaps some of us actually earn it. However, it isn’t really money that we earn, it is the right to have things our way, to the limit the amount of money we have with us. In which case, what is it that decides that someone has the right over an object or a person?

If one works and earns their wages to acquire a car in exchange for the money that they exchanged for their time and effort, do they truly own this car? Then did they own the money they previously had?

Can money even be owned by anyone? I don’t think so. Money, is as elusive as time. One might have more money than the rest but even he is a puppet on strings that time plays with. No one can own time. One may make time his ally but never his property.

So, is whatever we possess for the amount of time that it stays with us, really ours?

Is it not a delusion to think that we are actually entitled to having something, just because we gave our time for it; the time which by itself, was borrowed in the first place? One can argue that this is only fair, given the fact that we have more rights over the said object for we gave more of our borrowed time for it than another person did. However justified this may seem under the established circumstances, does it truly mean we actually have ownership over it?

By this logic, I would even go so far as to say that there is no such thing as ‘ownership’ and that it was merely a concept conjured up to maintain social order. But then again, so is the concept of ‘society’. I have always found it wrong when people claim ownership over things they did not earn. However, are they really that far from the truth?

Finders keepers, losers weepers.

This is how it was created by nature and this was one of the greatest obstacles that the evolution of civilization achieved to overcome. Ownership is now a consequence of common sense.  It is also concept that has grown along with man. It is not absolute, not even close for it is a man-made concept and not one that was a result of natural entropy.

Driving a car or reading a book can be done by anyone who knows how to drive that car or how to read. A car may be driven better by someone who is not that car’s supposed owner. This way, even though the car is monetarily owned by one, it can be conquered by someone else, with better skills. If the car were allowed to choose who its true master is, it would probably choose the expert driver over the now secretly frustrated owner.

“The things you own end up owning you.” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club

If ownership of something was to be determined by the right to own it, a rich businessman may have no business owning a supercar unless he proves to be a master of it. Of course, some companies like Ferrari and Rolls Royce do actually incorporate this fair rule. If they don’t think you can take care of their babies, they don’t let you take them home.

In the world outside this fair society ruled by passion and righteousness however, it is still unanimously accepted that ownership is as simple as producing a receipt. Did the owners truly earn the object they ‘bought’ or did they merely have enough money to claim the rights to own it? Rights that were agreed upon by the elected leader and law makers of society, that is.

So at the end of the day, what do we own? What we own, is all but a loan.


pic courtesy: endgeil.tumblr.com


3 thoughts on “What Do We Own, Really?

  1. I feel this post could have been argued on the philosophical sense, rather than the materialistic way that you have discussed here.
    Your opening picture tag link, did miss-led me.
    What I did expect was how men wasted their lives on materialistic things trying to impress people, which is another branch to your post here 🙂

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