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Ownership or Trust?
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The house that I own (along with the mortgage company), the paid-for car that I drive, my clothes, my books, all my belongings are things I hold for my use and for sharing. But I hold them in trust; I do not really own them. I came into this world with nothing; I will exit this world with nothing, leaving all my "stuff" behind.

If I hold it in trust, for my use and for sharing for others, I also hold a responsibility to use it wisely, not to hoard, and to care for the goods and the environment in ways that leave them in the best possible shape for those who come after me.

This realization has brought a corollary with it: too much stuff is burdensome, and I don't need all those things accumulating in my house and my garage.

I have been giving things away to people and organizations that have greater need for them than I. The extra car. The cans of food gathering dust. The dresses and shoes not worn in years. The books I'll never read again. Why am I keeping them--so I can show the world I have stuff? To proclaim that I exist because I have stuff? To exert my authority over the environment by continuing to be a burden on it?

I have no need for these superfluous books, clothes, cans and they suffocate me with the weight of their maintenance. What I do need is a car to get me from here to there, comfortable and presentable clothes, enough food to nourish and sustain me and books to read to bring joy and entertainment to my spirit. Out with the outmoded skirts, the extra televisions gathering dust, the betamax tapes, the 386 computer.

Some day when I retire, I will have a selection of jeans and tee shirts, wonderful books to read, my trusty car, my home and sufficient food for nourishment and enjoyment. Do I need anything else in the way of physical goods? No. They need to go to those who need them more than I. What a feeling of freedom!

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