This smartly written self-help book takes readers on an enlightening journey about ownership, which author Soh Jian Yi asserts is not just about material goods, but also concerns a person’s ability to take responsibility for his/her own life and reality.
The book begins with the glimpse of an unruly 14-year-old being reprimanded by a school disciplinarian. “For the first time in his life,” writes the author, “he asked himself, ‘Where am I going to end up if I carry on like this?’” and took the initial step toward ownership of his life.
Soh, a pediatrician, allergy specialist and medical school professor in Singapore, combines such anecdotes with a discussion of the “5 Key Aspects of Ownership”: 1) accepting the role you play in any given situation; 2) showing awareness of yourself, your goals, and the environment around you; 3-5) owning your choices, the consequences of those choices, and your future.
Using numerous examples, charts, and explanations of how the “Ownership Cycle” works in various situations, Soh makes a firm but compassionate argument for owning one’s attitude and actions. He offers sound advice on keeping ourselves and others on track, advising teachers not to keep reminding students to turn in assignments, and adult children of ungrateful elderly parents not to cater to them. To do either, he says, is to encourage a sense of “No-Ownership.”
Writing in a conscientious, measured style that’s neither flowery nor stuffy, Soh puts the issue in context, with historical references spanning the fall of Enron, the demise of Richard Nixon’s presidency, and Hitler’s brutal genocide.
The text suffers from some odd word choices (for example, the author writes: “Parent helps the child keep the clothes away,” instead of “put the clothes away”) and random capitalization (“A toy is a Privilege”). But readers will easily overlook such issues as The Ownership Cycle shows them their world from a fresh perspective.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.