Do we need ownership or access?

I own a car.

Why? Because I drive it.  Every day.

But what if I didn't drive it every day? What if I lived in Manhattan or Seattle and only really used it on the weekends? Would it make more sense to rent a car when I needed one? Or to use Uber? Or Car2Go?

Sometimes, it makes sense to own things. And other times, we only need access.

For example, do we really need to own movies when we have Netflix? Well, if it is a workout video I use daily, sure.  I should own it.  But if it is a movie that I simply enjoyed and might watch once or twice again over the next few years, then no.  I don't need to own it.

There are some things we own through habit.  We are used to collecting or buying.

I was confronted with this when I was walking near the beach in Mexico last weekend. There were so many things sold by vendors that attracted me...colorful dresses, beach art, floppy hats....all of the things that we buy on vacation because they capture the feel of the moment that we never use in our real lives back home.

I wonder if we buy because we are afraid there won't be any more other wonderful moments...that this "deal" will never come again...that...well, there are probably a host of "thats."

Part of the fascination of House Hunters International is that we are fascinated with the possibility of ownership, but I wonder how much we really need to own at all.  Ownership gives us access any time we want, but it comes with responsibilities. Taxes, maintenance, upkeep...

What if we could own less and access more? What if by minimizing our possession we would free up resources to be able to enjoy things and places in the now, without having to lock them up for the future?

I do know this.  Before I buy things, I am starting to ask myself if I need ownership or access. It has made a difference in the things I acquire.

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© Random Cathy
Maira Gall