I feel like this post has the perfect timing. It goes live the week of Thanksgiving, which is when a lot of us go home to be with our families. But how do you define it? That is the subject in question today…
Google defines home as
The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
I struggle with this definition so I want to take dissect it, pick it apart and give you a challenge to discover your own definition of the word.
First and foremost, why does your home have to be permanent? I was born and raised in Massachusetts and I have been here for 41 years. Basically, you could say this is a permanent place for me. The funny part is, it’s never felt like home. There’s a lot of reasons for that feeling but this post is not about me.
That permanent piece bothers me. What about military families that move around year after year? They don’t necessarily have a permanent place to live. Folks with jobs that move them across the country don’t either. Individuals in situations like these don’t have what’s considered to be a home if you use Google’s definition. So why does a home have to be in a permanent place?
The second piece that bothers me about this definition is that individuals have to be a part of a family or a household to have a home. This brings up the question of family. Do you consider family to be blood? Or bond? I have a family that’s a mix of blood and bond. The blood-related family I hardly see and it’s because we’re always going in different directions. I work a lot (like a lot, a lot) and they’re always on the go too. I have chosen the family that I have by bond. Heck, we chose each other! If you’re one of the few, I’m glad you’re on my list.
But all in all, I consider my immediate family to be my husband and my two dogs, Aries and Luna. We could easily sell our home and our belongings, pick up and move at any point in time. Others may not have this luxury. Some don’t even have families because of unforeseen circumstances or because of choice. Does that mean they don’t have a home either? According to Google’s definition, yes.
I have problems with this definition because it leaves gaps. It excludes certain types of people from society and is not inclusive of all people on this planet. It leaves out military families, people that change jobs frequently, those that are single and have no family… the list goes on. The definition insinuates that “family” is a collective unit and by and large, that term in today’s day is somewhat generic. It’s not what it used to be. Families aren’t automatically born by blood anymore. Only you can define what your family looks like.
Here’s where you get to come up with your own definition of home. I challenge you to think about Google’s definition and what you think about when you think of home. The old saying used to go “Home is where the Heart is” but I don’t think that’s true anymore. I think the saying should now be “Home is where YOUR Heart is”. Home is the place that you are always welcomed and surrounded by those you love and love you back. It’s not necessarily filled with just blood-related people anymore.
YOU define home, what you want in it, who you include in it and where it’s located. Here’s your chance. Go create your own definition of home.