Our current environment includes many immigration issues, the rebirth of nationalism, as well as the changing of how we, historically, set up our lives. Let me explain that last part which leads to the aforementioned parts.
Historically, we would strive for a job where we went to an office or building, we would seek a mate to “complete” our life, and we would settle in a town that we could call home. Lately, the restructuring of a traditional job – no more going to an office or building to be a vital part of society and earn as much or more without the commute – has afforded a more balanced lifestyle for many people. We, also, as a nation, are marrying later and changing what it means to build a life with someone – which, in my opinion, is all good and great and love is love! Finally, we are not nearly as sedinterary as we used to be. Many of us buy and sell an average of 5 homes if not more and move where the job or adventure to family obligations take us. The days of June Clever – in many aspects – have long passed.
Simultaneously as this restructuring becomes the norm, we, as a global community, are seeing and feeling the effects of long running conflicts and wars. Immigration is a hot topic in daily news and we are all having to deal with this human issue. People are having to leave their home – all that they’ve known – because staying home could mean death.
As citizens of a nation, we should remember that the human being is the reason for all things. When others suffer, we should feel their pain and take measures to ease their aches. Many oppose this outreach for a more inward focus which can be categorized as nationalism by expressing “I love my country and feel immigrants will change it.”
This protection of your home is a basic human feeling, but I suggest that we step outside our selves and try to redefine home. I recently heard a quote about home from an artistic person born in a less developed country who moved to New York to expand his way of thinking and thus improve his artistic abilities. He chose to define it, “Home is the place you want to contribute to without being forced to.”
That idea struck me. I have a place in my history where I was born, but I don’t consider that home. I have a place in my history where I grew into pre-teen years, but have not been back there since I was 19. I have a place in my history where the majority of my facebook friends and I shared 4 years on a campus learning how to do algebra, but I only claim that as home for posterity. Through my adulthood, I have lived in at least 10 towns and how use the phrase “forever home” only in regards to adopted dogs. Am I without a home?
Furthermore, what of the immigrants who are no longer in their own country and don’t have friends or relatives on the same soil where they live? Are they without a home or recreating their new home?
For me, I think it’s important to decide what you want a home to be. Do you want it to be a neighborhood where you wave to friends as you walk the dog in the evening? Do you want it to be a place you have so many fond memories but are currently away from as you build your life now but hope to return to? Do you want it to be a place where you feel compelled to contribute to make yourself a part of something and to offer your services and to gain knowledge by learning about other’s views and jouirneys? The latter is how I want to define home. I know there are more towns in my future, but I don’t want to discount my current living quarters by not calling it – at least for now – home.