The story is told of the Jewish diplomat and scholar Isaac Abrabanel (1437-1508), chancellor to King Ferdinand of Castile, that he was once asked by the king how much he owned. He named a certain sum.
“But surely,” the king said, “you own much more than that.”
“The property I have, I do not own,” Abrabanel replied. “Your majesty may seize it from me tomorrow. At best, I am its temporary guardian. The sum I mentioned is what I have given away in charity. That merit alone, neither you nor any earthly power can take away from me.”
We own what we are willing to share.
From To Heal A Fractured World; The Ethics of Responsibility, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Deborah J. Ross has been writing fantasy and science fiction professionally since 1982. Her first novel, a space adventure written under her former name, Deborah Wheeler, is now available as an ebook from Book View Cafe Press. Read her latest collaboration with Marion Zimmer Bradley, the Darkover novel Hastur Lord.