In every age 'the good old days' were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.

~ Brooks Atkinson ~

Why Make A Home?

January 31st, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 4 secs

Home is a place you make.

How important is a home to you? I suspect nearly everyone appreciates the comforts of home. Yet, surprisingly, many residences are little more then places to eat and sleep.

It disturbs me that so many people seem to be so clueless about how to create a home. To me, it’s symbolic of all that is good in life. A place where you can feel relaxed, released, and at ease.

Compare that to the bare, drafty dwellings some people live in where everything is forever in a disheveled mess, nobody cares, and there’s a distinct absence of welcome. These are places to exist in, not live in. And, whatever they are, they’re definitely not what you’d call home.

Yet the word home, for all its friendly connotations, needs pinning down. Because to some it means luxury living, servants, and splendor. While for others, home means the comfort of family, closeness, and love.

Maybe it’s easier to say what home is by describing what it isn’t. Places that prevent you from belonging aren’t home. Nor are dwellings that intimidate, isolate, or upset you.

A real home feels easy to walk into and feel received. Like a friendly old shoe, a comfortable home feels right, and if it’s really inviting, it will draw you back wherever you go (even from other side of the world).

Nowadays, the whole merchandising machine has us foxed into thinking that you buy a home and that the more money you have the better it is. But I would say that’s not so.

Yes, you can buy comforts, space, fancy interiors, and exteriors. Money also helps get you space in a desirable place. But it stops short of creating the necessary qualities that truly make home “homey”.

For that, people are the vital ingredient. Having a home base of relationship is a vital aspect to belonging that simply cannot be bought or installed. A family or partner can put life into each room and give a place a sense of being alive.

Some, however, don’t have that luxury, meaning they make do with pets and visitors instead (which can work quite nicely). But there is something else that’s needed to fulfill the home equation.

What is it?” you ask. Well, it’s you. Without you inhabiting your place with graciousness, welcome, and kindness to those who come by, it won’t be home at all.

It’s highly subjective, I know. Yet home relies on the good that we put into it. Just ask anyone who has endured an upbringing of hostility and divisiveness.  In understated politeness, we simply call those “broken homes”.

I won’t go on. But I passionately believe in the goodwill generated by a loving home. It might not look much and have even less in it. But, if those within feel love, acceptance, and protection, then it is every inch a home.

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