Is Anybody Home?
Chief Luther Standing Bear
Do you ever feel at home? Are you sure?
Home is a sense of belonging. When you are home, you are where you belong. You are surrounded by friends and family. You can relax because you feel safe and secure. You are exactly where you need to be.
Most of us today, deep down, don’t feel at home. We think we’re “not out of the woods.” We think most mushrooms are deadly, most plants are poisonous, most germs are dangerous, and most people can’t be trusted. In short, we’re not comfortable with nature, including human nature.
Imagine not feeling safe in your own home. Imagine it crawling with venomous snakes or people “out to get you.” Is life really like that? Is this really a dog-eat-dog world?
Now imagine a world not full of enemies but of family and friends. A world like that feels like home. This sense of home is universal to hunter-gatherer society because it is only natural.
Home is the place with the people and things you care about. You care for them and they care for you. And when you care for others, you take care of them — not because you should but because you want to. You do it because they matter to you.
The word matter comes from the Latin word for mother. When someone matters to you (and vice versa), you have the will and strength to protect them. You have the courage to do so.
The word courage comes from the Latin word for heart. When you feel at home in this world, you can open your heart. Until that happens, you operate not from love but fear. You feel alone in an uncaring world.
When you open your heart, empathy starts. Compassion flows naturally. You are a child of God and you grow up strong, loving, and unafraid. The world is blessed with your presence, and you with it, once again.
Are you at home?