27 October 2007

You Own Nothing

We come into existence naked and with empty hands. We leave naked and with empty hands. Possessions are only possible between the two events, during the state we term "life". Our natural state is naked and with empty hands.

Yet, we never really own anything, even if we possess it. You work, and your employer writes you a check. You take the check to the bank. Any number of things can happen here:

  • The check clears and the money is "in your account", yet you do not possess it.
  • The check doesn't clear, as the employer doesn't possess enough money.
  • The employer's bank refuses to honor the check for some reason, even though they possess the funds to do so.
  • The economy crashes between the time you leave work with your check and the time you get to the bank. No one possesses any worthwhile money.
As you can see, you really don't possess your money. Your employer, your bank, the economy overall - they possess your money. And society is the 800-pound gorilla, so if you want to possess your money yet society doesn't want you to possess it, you won't.

People make up excuses, thinking they are smart or clever or are being protective. What they are really doing is making it more difficult to live as a human being.

This post is spurred on by an experience with my credit union today. I deposited money in there yesterday. I had money in there already, so it was money+money. Today, my account shows $0 available even though the actual balance is over $70. No, I don't have outstanding checks or transactions that would do that. The credit union, or the credit union's computer, or someone at the credit union decided that my labor was worth $0, so that's what my account reflects. It's an insult, and they will hear about it.