"I'll find home without the shameless spinning or accede to eternal homelessness, thank you."

An important part of FindingHome involves mustering as clear an image as possible of what home might look like, to strip away the more prominent myths and produce a crisper portrait of the place. The mind might conjure gothic columns behind a white picket fence which reality could never deliver. Owning a home remains the most prominent indicator of success, whether that home be a one story rambler on a slab, a palatial estate, or a rusting double wide adjacent to a commercial refueling tank farm. Simply owning real estate smacks of some sort of success, indicative, according to the home ownership myth, of hard work, thrift, and responsibility fully assumed.

This presumption begs the questions, then, of what success really looks like now, how does it seem to be achieved, and what key indicators lead to its emergence?
Hard work, thrift, and responsibility, responds the myth, but observing some of the more prominent current success stories, the path seems markedly different. Of course, one might follow any number of different paths to achieve the sort of success supporting FindingHome, and one need not become tycoon-successful to achieve that end, thank heavens. One can certainly achieve some level of financial security without cornering any markets. A clean nose might, in fact, kick start accumulation, but recent examples suggest that a clean nose can only nudge anyone so far. Taking a peek at our President's Cabinet, one needs to more than comfortably squint to spot a clean nose among them. Most carry at least spotty backgrounds if not utterly questionable ones. I'd be remiss to not include our President in this characterization.

So, how did they do it? Each followed a somewhat unique path, but each also seems now to have mastered what I might refer to as the Two Esses: Shamelessness and Spin. It seems that regardless of the number or veracity of accusations, each incumbent seems incapable of blushing beneath the onslaught. They respond counter-phobically, instead, and seem to stand a tad taller and prouder. They do not exhibit any of the usual signs of contriteness or contrition, but deny, deny, and then deny some more. No benefit of any doubt, let alone any doubt, seems to cross their minds. Even if the evidence includes clearly undoctored evidence of a Doberman in their bed, they deny that it's their bed, their Doberman, that it's even a Doberman, or that they've ever slept in a bed. The denials quickly become other-worldly, ever more shameless. There is no evident shame.

But simple shamelessness rarely proves adequate to move beyond any well-documented accusation. Spin doctors take on the case and start blowing smoke intended, I suspect, to cast shadows which might be construed as reasonable doubt. The spin continues, sometimes intensifying into full-blown I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?-quality counter arguments reminiscent of and worthy of any Junior High School student. A bankruptcy transforms into justification for further funding. An inheritance not squandered, but cleverly laundered through lengthy and repeated spin cycles. The identity eventually becomes indistinguishable from the story, hardly constructed from whole cloth. Success is whatever I say it is, and I know because I've declared myself successful.

I'm pretty certain that I don't want to compete for this sort of success. I blush easily. My spin cycle seems too short to purify even my modestly tarnished soul. The meek, I keep telling myself, are scheduled to inherit this earth, assuming an earth will be left to be inherited by then. I tell myself that a humble man might find a home suitable to his modest pleasures, that I need not speculate in a zero-sum game to achieve an adequate measure of success. I find myself still tenaciously capable of feeling ashamed of myself. I can usually muster a single heartfelt spin, but cannot seem to begin the dizzying descent into a world where shamelessness and spin-mastery preside. That's the game billionaires play, and one the rest of us have no business even imagining ourselves engaging in. I'll find home without the shameless spinning or accede to eternal homelessness, thank you.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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