Several years ago, my grandson cobbled together his own little video commercial extolling the virtues of a local pizza company. They were so impressed by his enterprising verve, the local manager invited him back into the kitchen to watch the whole process and make a pizza for himself.
My daughter asked him if he liked it enough to want to work there someday.
“Heck no, Mom,” he exclaimed. “I want to OWN one.”
Ownership changes everything. It nudges us to change our oil on schedule, clean gutters, pull weeds, pay on time, speak up, polish harder, hold on, step up, keep heart. Take pride.
Invariably ownership gets tangled up with constructs like deeds, titles, shares. Master keys.
Granted, ownership of the financial kind does present its own heart-thumping sense of stake. Follow the money and you’ll often find a heart at the end of the trail (hopefully one that is still beating.)
However, it’s much more than where the buck stops. Ownership is as much a state of mind as a state of financial interest. Words like invest weigh more than spend; give more than take; preserve more than permit. It often means taking the long road home rather than the shortcut. Looking inside ourselves as much as out at our circumstances.
And it holds true in our personal lives.
Excusing from the discussion the fleeting meteorite hit or truly tragic event, the condition of our lives can be tracked, largely, back to decisions we’ve made. It doesn’t mean we’re at fault nor fully accredited with success; it just means our choices contribute – directly or obliquely – to the outcome. Beyond that reality, what is clearly within our orbit of control is how we choose to respond to those outcomes and influence them forward.
Taking ownership is one of those critical defining moments in our lives when we accept our reality and our place in it. Owning up to what has to be ours – even when the scales tilt toward the role of others – fends off victimhood and enlarges our understanding of the influence we can have around us.
Perhaps most importantly, we better understand ourselves.