“Strength of character may be learned at work, but beauty of character is learned at home.” Henry Drummond.
“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” Jane Austen.
Home is definitely where the heart is. It is a safe abode where we can be who we truly want to be without pretentions, without being anything other than ourselves. A home is where we are nurtured and given our grounding in life. A home is so much more than bricks and mortar – it is the place where we grow up and receive the instructions of life.
The feelings that one associates with a ‘home’ cannot be bought but experienced because of the intimate relationships and bonds that the people living in it form amongst themselves and with the people who come into it. That is why we spend time, money and effort in creating a beautiful living space, a space that makes everyone – the residents and visitors – feels comfortable and at ease in. However, it should be noted that a home will manifest the dynamics between its members. If there is constant bickering and argument, the home will throw off negative vibes that will be felt by all who visit it. And then there are those homes that radiate a positive energy.
So what are the meanings of home? What does a good home provide us? Let’s look at some of the important aspects:
Provides space and privacy
A home should, above all else, provide privacy for peace and quiet and individual pursuits. It should help in fostering personal relationships and provide relaxation. When there is a lack of privacy, children become uneasy as there is no scope for them to expend their energy; people tend to become a little anxious; relationships are hindered; and it becomes difficult to sleep undisturbed and happy.
One should always be mindful of the fact that space and privacy make a home comfortable for the people residing in it. There are those unfortunate, homeless people who do not understand the meaning of privacy because most of them keep shifting from one shelter to another in search for a temporary ‘home’. We should be more appreciative of what we have and do our best to maintain the sanctity of our home.
A home is a place that acts as a safety haven from the big, bad world outside. When at home, you should be at peace with yourself without any thought of fear. However, this might not be the case in some homes because of the threat of violence from other members in the family. Overall, a home should be filled with a sense of warmth and safety from the outside elements.
A home should provide stability for children because that is what ensures a nurturing environment for them to grow and develop as individuals. With all factors combined, a home provides shelter from the storm while keeping everyone safe and warm, no matter the surroundings.
Provides a nurturing environment
A home should be a place where you can feel safe, clean and free from any of the hazards from the outside world. It should be a place where a couple can grow in love and where children can grow up in an environment that supports their needs and provides them with opportunities. Children living in less than satisfactory circumstances can grow up being very disturbed because of a lack of caring.
Every member of a family should feel a sense of belonging and care as soon as he or she steps foot into the home.
Provides community building
A home should be a place that fosters relationships between family members, with neighbours and with people who come to visit on a regular basis. A home should be devoid of isolation; instead, it should feel like a place where one is at ease with the other occupants. Living in a permanent home helps sustain relationships. People and children who keep shifting from one house to another cannot form strong bonds with people in the surrounding community and are usually left wanting for company.
A home should be the catalyst for the emotional health and other practical needs of its occupants.
Some of our best memories are created at home. It could be our child’s first steps or the day the father got a promotion. Whatever the occasion, a home is where fond and bitter memories abide. In fact, these memories are what linger even when the years roll by because they become entrenched in our minds. A home is that living space that serves as a reminder of the good times and the bad.
Even the pictures that hang on the wall tell a story of the events that have taken place over the years and which have left an indelible mark.
Provides a place for relationships
Relationship-building is considered as among the most important ways by which people stay connected in this world. Therefore, the home means a place where these relationships are fostered and maintained. Whether through family reunions or birthday parties, a home is the starting place for all important human relationships. A home is the place where relationships are broken and mended, thereby making it a cause for celebration among the people in the household. No matter the occasion, relationships are primarily formed and fostered in a home setting.
When we think of home, we usually think of our mothers waiting for us at the door with a warm, welcoming smile on her face. We are also immediately transported to the kitchen where a warm and delicious meal awaits us. The simple joy of partaking of such a meal is what makes a home special. The picture of a family eating together around the dining table is what really sticks out in our minds. After a long vacation or a homecoming, the sight of a home cooked meal makes us feel special and loved and makes us appreciative of the small things in life. Thus, home is definitely where great food lies and where a family waits patiently for that food to arrive and nourish their bodies.
A home can mean a lot of things, especially since it holds different meanings for different people. Our endeavour should be to ensure that our home is clean and hygienic, aesthetic and pleasing. Most importantly, it is a place that is warm, caring and welcoming. It is the place where the beauty of our character is built.
Visual Courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmybrown/