What does it really mean to be at home?

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Home, a once simple concept that used to be defined as “the place one lives permanently” is nowadays a tough one to define.

First of all, there are less and less people “living permanently” in a place.  In fact, people these days tend to move from apartment to apartment, from city to city, from country to country. Sometimes, it’s because of work obligations. Other times, it’s simply because they can. Ask anyone where they are from and more often than not you’ll end up with a geographical resumé: I was born there, I grew up there, I studied there, I worked there… So, perhaps the more relevant question nowadays is not “where do you come from?” but “where is your home?”

 

Then again, home can mean different things to different people.

To some, home might be a country. To others, home might be their place of residence. And to some, home might not be a physical place at all. But rather, a place where they feel safe and calm. A place where they feel at home. But, what does it mean to feel at home? If home is anywhere you feel safe and calm, then it might not matter where you are, as long as you are with people who make you feel this way. Then again, it need not be people who make you feel this way but your environment and sourroundings. Some people might feel at home in libraries, others by the sea.

 

Ultimately, it may be more fitting to define home as a feeling rather than as a physical place

It might be corny to say, but home might very well be where the heart is. So, next time someone asks you where your home is, don’t think about addresses and residences. What comes to mind? What feelings stir up? What memories? Whatever it is, that’s what you should say. Sure, you might get some weird looks if you blurt out “the sea is my home”. But that way you’ll know. You’ll know what it means to feel at home.

 

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Sunday's Food for Thought

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