The Importance of Home: A Community Approach


A Place to Call Home

Home is a place to rest, play, create, and love. It is also a place of comfort, peace, and support. Yet, too many people in the United States of America don’t have a place to call home. This is true emotionally and materially. Many Americans do not have a physical home to lay their heads.

Other Americans don’t have the benefit of being looked at as deserving of a loving home. Some are looked at as having a home in the criminal justice system—a life behind bars is considered their destiny. There are also communities that do not have a healthy ecological environment to live.

We don’t need to look further than the history of Flint, Michigan for a sense of how certain communities have not had a healthy ecological home. Others don’t feel at home in their own minds, making it difficult to experience mental health.

Unfortunately, our national culture often falls short of nurturing a feeling of home for American citizens and all people living in the United States.

Politically, partisan talk in Washington D.C. and across the United States is a distraction to loving community. It nurtures a culture in which Americans look at themselves as enemies of one another instead of looking at one another like family.

Imagine a United States of America where we all look at one another as members of the same loving family, treating one another with love, respect, and care. I highlight here the importance of loving family because we know that there are family experiences that are not loving and life-giving. Yet, what I am referring to here is a loving American family that looks out for the best interest of every person in the United States and throughout the world.

Overjoyed African American young family with little kids have fun playing relaxing on sofa in living room, happy biracial parents entertain with small children tickle laugh, enjoy weekend together

The Importance of Home

If we don’t question the ways that certain people and groups are not provided fair opportunities to have a loving home, suffering will continue in the world at disproportionate rates where certain groups of people and individuals benefit from wealth and privilege while others continue getting poorer and suffering from unjust and harmful policies, cultures, and relational dynamics. We should work to alleviate suffering in any form. Working to eradicate the root causes of suffering at the systemic and individual levels is an urgent task.

Check out the paperback edition of Nicholas Grier’s book Care for the Mental and Spiritual Health of Black Men, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

What Can We Do?

How can we nurture a U.S. culture that is a loving home for the American people and all citizens of the world? We should aim to become aware continuously of the various ways that people suffer. I suggest that we must listen more deeply to suffering and understand its root causes. In my work as a mental health therapist and from my experiences with people in communities, it is clear that there are people experiencing suffering all around us. We must pay attention. We can become more aware of the suffering around us and develop strategies to end suffering if we pay attention.

When we pay attention, we will see that there are too many people in communities across the United States who don’t have a loving home.

Home is an important and necessary dimension of human flourishing. It is not just for certain groups and individuals to experience a loving home while others do not. We must commit, recommit, and remain committed to nurturing loving homes for all citizens of the United States and people throughout the world.

Check out the paperback edition of Nicholas Grier’s book Care for the Mental and Spiritual Health of Black Men, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Nicholas Grier

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