Millionaire Valley's leafy glades, hushed glebes and bubbling brooks are surrounded by majestic mountains. Its natives breathe clean air, eat fresh food, listen all day to full-throated song birds and wear organic 100% cotton next to radiant flesh cleansed with toxin-free soap. The residents look impressively fit, smooth-cheeked and straight of fang, visibly exulting in the power of their flexed haunches to leap tall buildings in a single bound as they stride down the street.
The cynics among us already suspect that all this perfection must be hiding something sinister. Having survived a season of its louche glamour I can reveal its ugly secret—in this vale of perpetual sunshine the wolves outnumber the sheep. By a lot.* Sure, there are the ovine servants who are bussed in from their distant fume-filled hollows to labor by day, but they don't count. It is understood that they are off limits to their employers, who need them to do all those jobs that they do not have time for; raising children, preparing wholesome meals and so on while the CEOs, lawyers, and investment bankers engage in the lupine activities that maintain their top spots in Millionaire Valley society.
Sadly, even wolves can fall on hard times, and an unlucky few may even be forced to leave their wooded dales in search of sheep to fleece. This is the tale of one such wolf, but just a reminder—Millionaire Valley is a fairy tale place filled with magical creatures, so none of this is really true. Indeed its many cartoonish elements make it hard to believe any of it is true, for like Wile E. Coyote our clever wolf lays traps that the bird-brained, or in this case woolly-headed, prey should walk right into, yet somehow they never do. We watch as the wolf pedals her hind legs furiously in the empty air before she plunges to the bottom of the cliff after an elaborate scheme backfires on her. The muffled crash following the long, whistling note of descent never fails to elicit a laugh, especially since we know she'll be back in the next frame with an even more complicated trap. Like a cartoon character she never dies, and, like Wile E., she never, ever gives up. In the meantime the prey graze and peck, seemingly oblivious to the wolf's increasingly manic efforts.
We will all see this fictional landscape through our unique lens, but whether you read it as fairy tale, scary nightmare, lunatic ravings of an unclean mind, or toxic real estate of the soul, Millionaire Valley is also a parable for our times. Our parlous times. I think we can all agree it is time to put our estate, real or otherwise. in order. One way to accomplish that is the subject of this book.
*It is estimated one in 25 people in the general society is a sociopath, but numbers are higher for people in certain professions, including corporate business people, lawyers, politicians. Since these highly successful, wealthy people often migrate to areas like Millionaire Valley one would expect the ratio of sociopaths to normals (wolves to sheep) to be higher. In Millionaire Valley it felt like one in ten, or even one in five.