What is the meaning of home? Hint: It’s not just a place.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
We have spent an unprecedented amount of time sheltering in place this year, which makes us wonder: What is the true meaning of home? Keep reading to hear from people from all walks of life.
If you’re reading this, you probably have a home as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary – one’s place of residence; domicile; house. But there’s another kind of home, the one we at Schlage spend a lot of time helping you achieve. It’s the intangible feeling you get in a location, a sense of peace, joy from loved ones or an environment where everyone knows they’re welcome. “Home” isn’t easy to define, but you know when you’re there.
We have spent an unprecedented amount of time sheltering in place this year, which makes us wonder: What is the true meaning of home? Keep reading to hear from people from all walks of life – sages, celebrities and everyday people – on what home means to them.
Where we find comfort and safety
Feeling secure at home often goes beyond just having good deadbolts. It’s where we retreat when times are tough and where we depend on family and the familiar to restore our sense of peace.
“Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.” – Vernon Baker, First Lieutenant in U.S. Army who earned the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross and is the only living Black WWII veteran to earn the Medal of Honor
“Home to me is where I feel safe, secure, loved and accepted. It's a place I don't have to define my strengths or explain my responses. Home is where I can be me 24/7, where I can be the champion or be insecure and still be cherished. Home to me is a place of refuge. Home is happy and full of laughter. Home is a place where the hugs abound and peace is found.” – Victoria Cowen, Corporate Compliance Manager at Allegion (parent company of Schlage)
“Home is the place where I go to feel safe and comfortable. If something negative happens, where do I retreat and regroup? It's not even my entire house, it is specifically my living room, kitchen, and bedroom; that is my 'home.' (The garage, bathrooms, den, and office don't feel like part of my home, they are just other places that happen to be adjacent to my home.) And if my house were to burn down, my home would be the next place in line that I go to in order to be safe: my bedroom in my childhood/parents' house.” – Matthew Stonebraker, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Allegion
“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.” – Pierce Brown, science fiction author
Where we are always welcome
No matter where life takes us, many of us see home as the place where we are always wanted. It is where we can be true to ourselves and others.
“I want my home to be that kind of place–a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome.” – Mary DeMuth, author and speaker
“I think that when you invite people to your home, you invite them to yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey
“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart may desire. May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, and happiness be with you now and bless you evermore.” – Irish proverb
Where we put down our roots
Home is not static. It could be where we grew up, but it can just as easily be where we feel settled and begin a new life full of possibilities.
“Our homes are more than financial assets. They have deep emotional meaning. For those of us fortunate enough to have grown up in houses owned by our parents, they were the backdrop for our childhood memories — the places we played and argued and hung our artwork and marked the door jamb with pencil lines as we grew taller.” – Dr. Keith Ablow, Psych Central
“[T]here’s a big psychological difference between feeling at home and being home. Feeling at home on the Tiwi Islands or in Bangalore or Vancouver (if you are not native) is simply a way of saying that the not-home-ness of those places has diminished since you first arrived. Some people, as they move through their lives, rediscover home again and again. Some people never find another after once leaving home. And, of course, some people never leave the one home they’ve always known.” – Verlyn Klinkenborg, Smithsonian Magazine
“I think the house shows that I have true faith in myself to take on this task when I was just 27 and see it through … I also think the house says that I will forever remain solid in the place I was born.” – Rapper Drake in Architectural Digest talking about his 50,000-square-foot mansion in his hometown of Toronto
“For me, home is my physical space, yes. A place I feel comfortable and safe. My retreat. ‘Home’ is also where I've planted roots. It's my friends and my community. Fun fact, in my 41 years on Earth, I haven't lived anywhere as long as I've lived in Fishers (a suburb of Indianapolis), and in this particular house where we live. So, I would say, Fishers is my ‘home’ now. We have talked about moving but I would have a really hard time leaving.” – Lauren Young, HR Global Compensation Manager at Allegion
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” – Robert Frost, author
Where our dreams become reality
When we are safe at home, we are free to imagine the possibilities that lay ahead. It is where our future begins.
“Just like memories, home is also where your hopes and dreams are. Dreaming about when you grow up. Being a spaceman or a firefighter. Sinking beneath the sea as a scuba diver. I couldn’t imagine living without dreams. My home grounds them, and without a home, I wouldn’t have any.” – Wynn, Fifth grade. Read his full essay for Habitat for Humanity Canada
“Home means a future. Once we had a stable home, we could think beyond where we were going to live from week to week, and we could begin to look ahead to where we wanted to go. Home is the base where everything begins.” — Kelly for Habitat for Humanity
“Yes, your home is your castle, but it is also your identity and your possibility to be open to others.” – David Soul, actor