Stewardship: It's All Mine to Take Care of, and None of it Belongs to Me

Most of us thrive on passing the buck. "It's not my responsibility." "It's her fault." "One day when I rule the world, I'll..." All those statements are opinions that keep us off the hook. They keep us from being liable, but they also keep us from being powerful. While we try to shrink our liability, we end up shrinking our impact. 

We also thrive on defending the perceived good things we do and own. "See that new Audi, yeah, that's mine. Please keep your kids out of my driveway." "Did you hear how the boss complimented me at work today? Yeah, I really do an amazing job here." "You know that protest about homelessness I went to? I'm such an advocate for justice, a lot more than those other people." This keeps me from being my word and work in the world and instead tries to feed my ego by rewarding me by the perceptions of other people or myself. When I own things, I have to defend them because I see them as an extension of myself. When I do things to look good or make myself happy, I end up making life a game of pleasing and performing rather than thriving in gratitude. 

What if, instead, everything was our fault? What if everything was mine to take care of?

Global warming, wars of state and religion, poverty, starvation, our neighbors' domestic disputes... what if I am a cause in the effects that are happening around me? My neighborhood, my city, my country, my world, it's all mine to take care of. If I see places of injustice, it's not my job to wait around for someone else to do something about it, it's mine. It may be as simple as saying a prayer or as complex as crafting a detailed legislation.  If it's to be, it's up to me.

What if, instead, nothing was mine?

I don't get to reap the rewards of my good behaviors, it belongs to everyone. I'm not fed when I hoard anyway, I am fed when others are fed. I don't need to "own" land, God does. The universe is not owned by any person, it just so happens that we have a huge hand in shaping the outcomes of our world, for better or worse. I freely receive and freely give because I don't have to fight to pretend that everything is for me, it's the effortless, generous love of the universe in action.

Stewardship is about ownership and agency, it's also about non attachment. 
Benjamin FaderComment