Day 150: Ownership, Investment, Expected Returns – the Capitalist in Me

In re-reading the blogs I wrote on the Prideful Character, there is one aspect that has surfaced several times that I haven’t explicitly opened up – and that is the point of ownership. It came up in the blog ‘Day 146: The Credit is Mine!’ as well as in my last blog ‘Day149: I don’t need no-one’s help’ where I mentioned feeling that I did not ‘own’ the correction to a point if someone assisted me to see it.

An example of the role of ownership within the Prideful Character would be where I was ‘in charge’ of a certain project for a while, and then at some point needed to hand it over to someone else. I would experience major resistance, because I would feel like it was ‘my point’ that I didn’t want to give up. So – where is the self-interest within such scenarios? Because, obviously, in those moments it was necessary to re-arrange responsibilities for the effective running of the larger group – so if I within myself fight such a change, then it is due to points of self-interest.

The Prideful Character, as has become clear, runs on the need for praise and validation – so that self may ‘feel’ valuable/worthy/good enough. So, what I would do in relation to the Prideful Character when I was assigned a task – I would define myself according to that task – feeling that ‘I am now responsible’ or if I would do the task well, I would give myself ‘positive scoring points’ based on that task/project. So, the projects would become a source of praise and validation that I would give myself – thinking that – others must see me that way as well. So – when asked to hand over the project, I would experience resistance in that I felt I would be losing this source of ‘value’ – but what’s more – I would feel annoyed thinking that, ‘now I will have to spend my time creating a different project that will give me a sense of value’ lol.

And that’s an interesting point – where I felt I had invested my time/effort into a project and so didn’t want to give it up – because, hey, I finally feel satisfied about my ‘performance’ in how I am handling this project, I am finally feeling good about myself in terms of this project and so I feel I am deriving ‘value’ from it – lol, in other words – my investment is finally starting to pay off and now you want me to hand it over?!?

All of the above runs in the background of course, on a conscious level I would just experience that sense of ‘ownership’ towards the project – where I would feel it’s ‘my project’ and then the resistance in not wanting to hand it over.

The reason I find this point to be so interesting is that during my economy studies there was one point that I just didn’t understand or couldn’t grasp in ‘how it would make sense to base an economic system on that principle’ - and that was the point of ‘the capitalist’ and the principle that those who own something get to earn profits from it – because, well, to own it they invested a lot of money in it, so now they should earn returns on it in the form of profits. Somehow this point evaded me – who came up with this logic?? Because once you own something, you’re not doing anything per se, you’re just ‘busy owning something’ – yet that would give you the right to an income through profits.

And here I am, lol, throughout my life living out this exact same logic without even realizing it – where it would only become apparent when I was asked to hand over my project to someone else, as I’d then throw a hissy fit inside myself – and even then it was not always clear ‘why’ exactly this was bothering me. Yet here it is, the capitalist in me, clinging to that which I have invested my time, my effort, myself in – because I was deriving a continuous flow of ‘earnings’ from it as a sense of value. It wasn’t even the project in itself that I didn’t want to ‘lose’ – it was the ‘returns’ that I expected to receive if I continued to ‘own’ that project.

It’s fascinating that in anything we do – we’re not working with the inherent value of that which we’re busy with, acknowledging and honoring the inherent value of contributing time and effort towards a particular project because we see how it assists others, how it makes a difference – no, we’ll only acknowledge the imaginary value we assign to ourselves for participating in that project – making it about ‘how good a person I am’, ‘how good I feel about myself’. And in the same way – we won’t recognize our own inherent value – we feel the need to ‘derive’ it from something or someone else – the need to ‘own’ something so that IT may GIVE me value.

It is quite saddening to realize that we had to create such consequence on a global level for the outer reality to reflect and show us just one point: that we never accepted ourselves, that we never appreciated ourselves and that we never honored ourselves as life, as the only real value.