2010/10/12 Leave a Comment
Could you survive without a home? Without a place to go to recharge your biological batteries after a tough day? These are questions I have never really thought of asking, but after reading an account of a man who chose to be homeless, I wonder if there are many people who could live in a situation similar to this. I realise that a lot of people who are homeless, did not have much of a choice in the matter: there are obviously certain circumstances that force homelessness on people. On the other hand, if homelessness is a life choice, does that make it easier? Does it make sense in some situations to become homeless, even if you can afford to live in a decent house?
I don’t know if I could do it, I certainly have no desire to do it any time soon at any rate. To try to figure out why people would make such a decision, I asked myself: why do the majority of us live in houses anyway? The answer to this seems pretty straightforward: security, privacy, peace of mind, hygiene, status in society, a place to keep our stuff, a place to take care of our children; are all valid reasons. If a person doesn’t have children, then the other main reason for living in a house is ‘things and stuff,’ and isn’t as big a deal to some as it might be to others. Security: my things and stuff are all safe. Privacy: My things and stuff are away from prying eyes. Peace of mind: Wow, I don’t know what I would do without all my things and stuff. Status in society: Hey, look everyone, look at all the things and stuff I have!
Don’t get me wrong, I think things and stuff are great. I love all my things and all my stuff, but maybe living in fixed abodes all the time makes us addicted to all of these things and stuff. I think a slight shift in the way we think and the way we live, could lead to more people deciding to make themselves homeless for periods of time. Certain people of course, need homes more than others, such as couples with children, or people who live in regions where there is harsh weather, or older people. For the people who it suits better, I think it wouldn’t do us any harm at all to become homeless for a while every now and then. We would probably learn a lot from such an experience. In some cases it could have advantages; for example, the man in the gizmodo article I mentioned earlier (here), is a writer, I’m sure this different living environment must have an effect on his creativity/imagination. He is seeing the world from a different point of view. Another article from time.com this week (here), questions the reasoning behind paying a mortgage for a house that is worth less than what is owed on the mortgage. If one lives in such a house, the sanest business move could often be to hit the road, Jack, and don’t come back. If public washing facilities and safe storage/locker centres were more commonplace, then it might not be so bad!
Anyway, enough with this ramble, I have things and stuff to attend to.