Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Capitalism/Ownership & Stewardship


What if it wasn’t enough for you to be able to afford to buy something but you also had to take care of it?

What if buying something meant there was responsibility attached to using it well?

One can afford to buy a puppy, but if they aren’t going to have the time or the discipline to walk the dog daily, our community would frown upon them purchasing a puppy. But what if the same attitude (peer pressure or otherwise) extended to all purchases, including inanimate objects?

If you buy a gun for protection, you are responsible for what happens to that gun, how it might be used or abused by yourself or others.

If you buy a big sack of potatoes, you are responsible for using them all up and not letting them spoil. Sure, you paid $5 for it, so it’s YOURS, but perhaps ownership can also have significance beyond capitalism (being able to afford it, and it is now in your possession) vs. stewardship (being responsible for it). Maybe you could afford the extra dollars to get the bigger bag, but to tell yourself the smaller $3 bag is what you can afford stewardship wise.

There’s a drought going on in California (and in many parts of the world). Some people can afford to pay the extra dollars to not be as conscientious about its use (or buy into the “it’s the farmers using up the waters, and our usage is insignificant”). Perhaps the amount we use is insignificant to agricultural use, but regardless of its scarcity, what if we only use what we need?

I’m starting to realize that the concept of mottainai (Japanese word for wanting to reduce waste) I grew up with, has more to do with stewardship of the resources than simply avoiding waste.

Photo: Art Nouveau designs on walls of Alesund, Norway, where their blend of capitalism and socialism may be closer to embedding stewardship in the mix.


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This entry was posted on October 27, 2015 by in Culture and tagged , , , , , .
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