No Place Like Home

“There’s no place like home.” Dorothy’s famous quote from the classic 1939 film is still recognized by many, even though 83 years have passed since the movie first appeared on the big screen. The concept of a home is one that has infatuated people for decades. As people age and find their place in the world, they may begin to find themselves pondering two essential questions. It is the question of belonging and acceptance; What allows one to consider something “home?” Why is it so important to find a home?

Two important factors play into the creation of the concept of someone’s home. The first factor is the community that one creates or takes part in. It is a psychological fact that the concept of a home or a family to be a part of can reduce stress and allow individuals to engage in healthier behaviors. In George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy”, he demonstrates the importance of community during hard times. During his family’s time in an incarceration camp as America became involved in World War II, the Japanese Americans in the camp attempted to create a sense of community to persevere through the rough conditions. Creating this community allowed the Japanese Americans to feel a sense of belonging; or a sense of “home” as well. Having people to rely on and share the company of can help an individual feel at home.

The second factor that helps one consider a place “home” is the memories and experiences that one associates with it. Creating a space where an individual can reminisce on old memories allows them to feel calmer and more at home. Home doesn’t have to just be a house. It can be any place that one attaches nostalgic and sentimental value to. Isamu Noguchi’s playgrounds and sculptures exemplify this concept of belonging. An important consideration of human nature that is demonstrated in Noguchi’s art is that children should be given the opportunity to create their own form of play, essentially their own memories. Memories and experiences are fundamental to the development of a home. 

Isamu Noguchi’s model for Contoured Playground – 1941.

Finding a place to call home can be a challenging task; however the benefit of finding this space has beneficial effects on the human brain. Feeling a sense of belonging and safety is extremely important for the growth of a person. If one can build memories and relationships within a community, then they are essentially creating a “home.” 

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