This week Loy told me something…
“I am the proud owner of nothing.”
Since Loy’s a rabbit, she doesn’t speak often. So when she does, I pay attention to what she says. But this was strange to me. When she asked me if I was the proud owner of nothing too, of course I said I wasn’t. I own many things.
I thought this might be one of her freaky minimalist things. Minimalism is one thing, but nothing? That’s taking it a bit far! But she reassured me that this wasn’t what she meant and that what she’s talking about is applicable for everyone.
Still, I felt a twinge of shame, thinking about all the unneccessary stuff I own. I told her this, but she said I shouldn’t be ashamed of owning things. She reminded me that she owned things as well, like her pair of glasses, and then explained what she meant…
Since talking to her, I’ve decided that I am the proud owner of nothing as well! Here’s what she said…
How Is Loy The Proud Owner Of Nothing?
She told me about a game she noticed that humans play…the “Mine Game.” The rules are simple:
- For any given thing, one person is allowed to call it “mine.”
- The person who can call the most things “mine” wins.
It’s a brilliant game, right?! Everyone can play. No matter how intelligent, young or old, woman or man. You can even play with people who don’t speak your language. The problem is that nobody wins. And when someone does best another, you don’t re-deal out the Monopoly money evenly, or put all your Chess pieces back to the starting line, you just move on, one person feeling worse, another person feeling superior, neither making a connection or genuine happiness.
One of the conventions is that as we play the Mine Game, we start taking pride in what we can call “mine.”
There are two types of pride: One is based on status and praise…it’s a vanity. The other is based on an understanding and respect of your own worth and goodness and the worth and goodness of others.
Maybe the way you play it is different, but the way I’ve always played and seen the game played, Mine Game’s pride is vain pride.
Well as it turns out, despite being shy, rabbits are very proud in general, and Loy reassured me that she was a very proud bunny.
She told me she is proud of her abilities.
She isn’t the best at hopping, but she’s killer on the Linux command line, makes amazing peanut-sauce-stir-fry-kale, and climbs trees like a squirrel [she snuck up to a branch and took the photograph of her friend, Prou, you can see above].
She’s also proud of who she is.
She takes care of her body and mind. And she has learned to realize her own value as a rabbit and a part of the Earth.
But more than that, she told me she is proud of her friends.
She takes pride in her friend’s abilities and successes, but most of all in her kindness toward them and their kindness toward her.
After we wiped some pathetic tears from our eyes, I began to understand that when she said that she was the proud owner of nothing, she didn’t mean she wasn’t proud or that she owned nothing.
She meant that she was proud of other things…what she does, who she is, and the connections she makes with others.
The stuff? Incidental.
Are you the proud owner of nothing?
I recently decided that I am. What about you?
] chloe [