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The Stuff We Prize is Just on Loan
The stuff we prize is just on loan
Dear Readers: Over the years of writing this col­umn, I'm asked frequently by the media and curious readers, “Why do you give away your money, Mr. Ross?” The answer is simple.
Many years ago. I read an article that re­minded me that all earthly posses­sions are ours for only a short time.

I'll share with you the reasons I have for distributing my wealth during my lifetime.
For many years, I was an auc­tioneer for companies going out of business and estates representing well-known former owners who died. I auctioned ordinary and pre­cious objects of art, furniture, cars, trucks, boats, ships, airplanes, rel­ics, real estate, jewelry, etc.
I quickly learned how temporary are our possessions and personal wealth. Everything we "own" today becomes the possessions of others that live on after us.
Even during the reign of the "good Emperor" Marcus Aurelius, there was a serious time when his nation became sorely pressed.

He asked permission of the Sen­ate to sell imperial treasures in or­der to buy arms for national pro­tection, saying, "Nothing we have is our own: even the houses we live in belong to you."
We all accumulate treasures that become dear to us, but they are only temporary. They are but loaned to us for our brief enjoy­ment and enrichment. They will belong to others.

My only hope, in parting with my own modest possessions and money, is that the recipients will benefit from the experience and practice my philosophy during their lifetimes. People who boast of ownership always amuse me. They never know how close to losing that ownership they may be.
The only true ownership in which we can take endless pride is that which arises from useful tasks performed. And the only true satis­faction comes from knowing we have enriched the lives of others. To possess the love and respect of others is a treasure that mere money could never buy. That is all we can take to the grave with us!

*Articles by Percy Ross have appeared in the Indianapolis Star Dailey Newspaper, periodically over the past five years. This is one for each of us to dwell on.

D/D Fry.. 11/03

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