The classic "American Dream," is often characterized by home ownership. People memorialize the day they purchased their first car or invested their own money into the stock exchange for the first time. All of these monumental events stem a uniform theme of ownership. The notion of purchasing items to gain, either social class or material objects, is a highly controversial topic. This determination to find out a relationship between ownership and sense of self has troubled philosophers for centuries. Ownership marks certain goals in human society, but can also lead to an individual's downfall.
Every eight-year-old has walked to the local toy store, pockets overflowing with jangling coins from their weekly allowance, and has spent hours choosing the perfect object to commemorate their hard work. That glistening new doll or lightning fast car is the child's way of rewarding themselves for mopping the floor or taking out the trash. As Aristotle claimed, "Ownership of tangible goods helps to develop moral character." The child has learned the valuable lesson of working hard, then rewarding yourself. In this way, ownership teaches self-respect and self-sufficiency. If one can afford to own key objects such as homes and cars, they can rely on only themselves to survive. Ownership also teaches perseverance; it assists humans in setting goals and striving for said goals. I had a family friend that upon turning seventeen, she was determined to purchase her own car. For two years leading up to her birthday, she worked hard to manage the money she earned, placing huge sums into the bank. This goal came into fulfillment when she finally was able to afford a car. It may not have been the shiniest, fastest, or most luxurious vehicle available, but owning her own car that she purchased on her own made her proud. It was a goal to strive for, a constant desire propelling her forward.