Home (More or Less) Economics
In Greece, I was told, the worst insult you can possibly say to someone, worse than fuck you, go fuck yourself, fuck your mother or anything like that is: fuck your house.
In the ancient Greek language, the word for home, oikos, is the same as the root word for economy and ecology (the “measuring” of the home and the “logic” of the home, respectively). To fuck any living being’s ecology — home environment — or economy — means of trade and exchange with others — is to fuck them up pretty badly if you think about it. It would feel worse than fucking oneself, for sure.
Inside one’s home, theoretically, everything one holds dear or sacred, all one takes care of, everything– and above all every one — one truly values is kept safe. Even if just symbolically in the form of a framed picture. This perspective is very important, and simply remembering this basis I find revolutionarily helpful when counting my blessings.
True economy has to do with how you define and make subsequent decisions for your wealth, which is ultimately your well-being. This yes, does has something to do with ecology, for ultimately we have nothing of material value without the grounds upon which to stand, without Earth.
Therein lie the real roots of wealth. Just as the roots of politics are in the people, and human nature, and the real meaning of radicalism is in the roots, underground, so too are the roots of economic success in the home. Because, what is inside any home, almost universally?
1. Family — the people with whom one has the most intense, most interdependent, most precious, most generous relationships. How do we maintain and keep this portion of the economy healthy? Through communication and developing excellent communication skills and ethics.
2. Food — nourishment.
3. Bath — refreshing and changing and clearing space, cleansing energy all are important to individual and social survival. We must invest also in the maintenance of least resistance. This is the crucial “flow” of any economic system. how does it flush out problems and from what source can it replenish?
4. Bed — a place to rest relax and find soothing comfort. space to dream and be, really feel the full feeling of being at home, enjoying the use of ones wealth.Taking pride in having identified and claimed your unique form of that treasure called “riches” in the way it suits you and your perception of the overall economy and ecology.
These are the four elements of true to the roots economic wealth. To be at home in oneself. To be able to express oneself and hear others, to gain sustenance regularly, to cleanse and renew, to rest and envision. Work is the building of this metaphorical house.
Plus, the fifth element: the living space. What about the living room? Some Westerners may be wondering, in my Oikos blueprint of economy. Others may be wondering just as earnestly, what about the garden?
But whether it’s outdoors or in the kitchen in a family room basement rec room or retro style TV den, the area of our homes in which we live– which is notably to interact entertain and relax with others, guests, family, and friends– varies a lot with culture, income, climate, and preference. In fact in many parts of the world the equivalent to the so-called living room is the piazza or town square itself! The middle of the entire community, shared by all families, not just one.
The hearth, if you will, of any home is, to some extent, a community space. It’s where we host. And designated public areas, like parks and libraries, are also a form of shared home. We may make ourselves comfortable there, to a certain extent. This open place where stories are told and made and enjoyed is the home, oikos, of free exchange. Here lies the invisible threshold not only between public and private, but also betwixt relaxing and working. As our conversations take the shape of narratives, make no mistake, communication— storytelling, indeed language itself– becomes a form of currency.
So yes, “living space” is a very important element of the economy I’m mapping, albeit an intensely variable and subjective one. Perhaps, though the most handled, the most manipulated, twisted, malleable, and recycled, stories are the purest form of currency, because they are so free and flexible. Kinda like magic, this is the “quintessence” of my economic alchemy. In the hybrid space of life, whether inside or outdoors, stories are born to grow in value.
Because ultimately what is value? What is wealth? What is success? In each of these forms, not matter how you or I or anyone answers, the answer is subjective. It depends. The definition of success depends on what one wants and what one does not want, upon who one is, what one’s temperament is and what one’s history is, what one likes and what one hates, one’s health and so forth, what kind of people and when one likes to be around. Etc. True wealth — as opposed to its mere representation, money– although similar to narrative– varies with how we choose to define it, individually and collectively. Value depends on us. It depends on how we tell our stories.
Storytelling is a part of our DNA, inherent to human nature. Since stories, like art, are ubiquitous, then they are inherently diverse. So-called “capital” is diverse; stories are diverse; they come from multiplicity and multiple sources. Meaning, diverse and multiple perspectives, diverse and multiple voices, diverse technologies, multiple methods, diverse beliefs, diverse practices, diverse and multiple sources of information, inspiration, and materials, and so on, in addition to diverse lives.
What is your story?
My story is about the power of the imagination… it’s about the humane value of storytelling. I believe using our imaginations is powerful and important and healthy and good.
I want to tell a story of my conjectured correlation of the following connections:
Relationships + communication + fun + wealth + subjectivity + disagreement + understanding + multiple perspectives
vs. -are opposed to-
superficiality (the representation of fun, w/o necessarily the content) + perfection (which doesn’t exist, making those who insist upon having it, superficial, not least b/c due to the nature of perfection and perfectionism they insist on having/seeing things their way at all times) + purity (nonexistent) + “objectivity” (which also does not exist IRL).
The regenerative power of storytelling in its ideal empowers everyone through their own expressions. The more people feel free to tell their stories, the freer our whole world, the better, the more equitable and just — and fun for all!– it is.
What do you (really) want? No success can truly be called such without the answer to that prior question. What is winning?– without identifying what one wants and needs, thus also, what one fears, in sum, who one is? Without knowing what makes one tick, as well as one’s ticks, how else can one radically envision fear’s opposite, find its solution, one’s victorious success?
Seriously, sincerely: what is your problem? Really. Everybody’s got a few. Spell that out for yourself so that you can ask yourself (and/or the Universe) why you have this issue and witness how you choose to engage in the struggle (that is [your] life). Investigate whether you’re battling against actual or imagined threats or if you’re failing to fight your demons at all, allowing them to consume you.
What measures or practices might generate an outcome opposite to what you fear? What are the ways in which it’s important for you to “win”? What are your values? How will you obtain your heart’s desire?
Well, like I’ve said, it all depends. Hence, the pressing question for you: how do you define wealth? What would success be for you? What do you want? And why? What is your story? … What challenges do you struggle with? What is your secret superpower with which you will win? How does it feel?
(Hint: go for “good” over “guilt”…)What can you do to bolster your courage?– to conquer your fears? — to boost your confidence? — to succeed with integrity? Tell your story. Tell your story to boost your confidence to conquer your fears to obtain your heart’s desire… then tell your story again. What other tools do you have at your disposal? That’s for you to find out.
Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity. Deal with your shit. Lose the ego. Know thyself. Tell your story.