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OrdinaryTimes 1.06-OweKnur

I rent with an owner’s mindset. I’m the guy who washes the rental car before returning it. I maintain the stuff entrusted to me as if it were my own, to my own standards. One neighbor confided that the place we’re renting looks a lot better than when the owners lived in it.

The Muse distinguishes between what she calls a Renter’s and an Owner’s Mindset. She doesn’t own the company she works for, but she acts like she does. Others seem to endlessly complain about the lack of direction they receive from above, as if their boss, their boss’s boss, or even the head of that operation somehow possessed an owner’s wisdom denied mere worker bees. A Renter’s Mindset encourages otherwise sentient adults to engage as if they are adolescent worker bees. The Muse doesn’t work so much as owns.

Nobody can give anyone else permission to act as an owner. This role must be swiped, fair and square. It rightfully belongs to whomever can’t feel engaged without shouldering those essential responsibilities. Pride perhaps topping this list, with self respect trailing close behind.

It’s become popular in industry to throw around stock options as if owning stock would somehow, quite magically, transform workers from behaving like renters. The Owner’s Mindset has nothing to do with owning shares, but with freely sharing what she already owns.

I only own what I can freely give away. It’s possible for us to sell the house The Muse and I ‘own,’ but we cannot freely give it away because the bank owns a sizable chunk of it. I gave my old Subaru away to a niece’s son. To secure the title, I sold it to him for a quarter, but I gave him the quarter to ‘buy’ it with.

The Muse’s paycheck doesn’t buy her employer half of what she delivers. Her job description, supposedly the charter delineating her scope of responsibility, doesn’t mention most of what she actually does, and it couldn’t. The contract could turn anyone’s gifts into obligations, hard assets into chilling debts, should anyone take it very literally. Still, we all sign contracts as if they described the responsibilities they only imply. And none of them mention the personal responsibilities everyone owns but not everyone freely gives away.

The Muse does what needs doing, only rarely deliberately stepping on anyone’s toes. She’s sometimes surrounded by people trying to observe the letter of some law. They wonder how she gets away with so much. She gets away to the extent that she gives away, more interested in getting something done than in earning recognition or in deflecting blame.

The Owner’s Mindset demands no less. And really nothing more.

©2013 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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