Every time we travel on business, and that is far too often nowadays, I find myself remembering that old adage, “home is where the heart is”. When practically the first thing you do upon returning home is start booking flights and lodging for the next trip, it is impossible to ignore just how great it feels to be “home”, even if you know that the light at the end of the tunnel is your next encounter with the “FASTEN SEAT BELT” sign. But I digress…
Last month we were all witness to the ridiculous debacle inside the beltway as our elected officials disgraced themselves and our system of government while playing “chicken” with our economic future as if it is all a schoolyard game. Both sides of the political spectrum displayed their selfish lack of responsibility while the rest of us mostly watched in dismay and disgust.
At the time, I was struck by how frequently one spokesman or another would attempt to claim the imaginary high ground by declaring “what the American people want”, as though he or she spoke for the majority and not just some narrow slice of the electorate, essentially the special interest group from their district who got them elected and who now holds them hostage to their ideology.
The same thing happens every day when it comes to what people want and expect in their homes. Economists, sociologists, politicians, marketers, manufacturers and trade associations spew endless propaganda in our direction in their efforts to convince us that they know what homeowners and homebuyers want, all of which is designed to gain some advantage in reaching their goals.
I can’t speak for anybody else, but I know what I want. I want “home” to be the place where I feel the most comfortable, the most secure, the most at ease. I want to rest assured that it will shelter me and the ones I love from the storm and from the chaos and confusion that unsettles so much of daily life in these turbulent times.
I want to have a certain level of confidence that I can be self reliant, that if the power goes off or the highway bridge to town gets washed out we are going to be just fine. I want to know that I can rely on my neighbors and that they share that assurance because at the end of the day we know we are in this together and that no matter what a bunch of egomaniacs and zealots waste their time (and a lot of our money) on, we will be here long after they are gone and forgotten.
Home, I think, is the only place we really trust to keep our hope, the place where we can plan for the future and let our hearts dream.