"I am convinced that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the World without owning it."
- Paulo Coelho
The only thing a person can ever – truly – own is themselves.
The idea of ownership is based on possession and means towards possessing, but the two are very different qualities. Possession is to acquire from without and to have a means of physical control over it, though that control may be tenuous depending on the object; ownership is to have full control and to relegate all influences to a lesser position. In this respect, you can never own me, because I relegate you to a lesser position; your law, your rules, your ideas are nothing but words that I choose – that I choose! – to allow to have an influence over me – nothing more.
A person may acquire material objects through financial means, they may say "I own these because I paid for them," but this is no different than a thief re-acquiring the same objects and saying "I own these because I stole them." In both cases, possession is this 'thing' that is referred to as 'ownership'.
True ownership has no acquisition. It simply exists. "I own this because I have absolute control over it, and nothing will ever change that." You can take all my possessions away from me, you can take me hostage, you can deprive me of my identified rights, but I will always have full control over the self, over my thoughts – free my hands and legs from these chains and this mind will determine what is done with them.
This even extends to what is called 'under duress' for it is still I in ownership of myself that makes the decision to carry the crime forward. Many would face death than commit the crime, others are little concerned with the crime and value self preservation first.
I guess there are those who would say that this is all self-evident and nothing to get excited about, but I still meet many people who cling to ideas and grievances that rule their world as though they are afraid that by relinquishing control over what they cant control, everything will fall apart. But control is so fickle and only ever subject to its own subjects, which seems self defeating in the long run. Control of the self is a given, and subject to itself is filled with its own choices.