Yesterday I made a reservation for two nights at at an Airbnb. The rules were very clear – no pets, noise etc. and I was accepted with an acknowledgment of my former good reviews but then I got another note asking me to sign and agree that I would “treat it like my own home”. I’m not sure why that hit me wrong as I treat my home very well, and certainly would have done the same with this place, but it led me to thinking of what it means to treat a place like our own home. Perhaps we’re comfortable with our home being a mess. Signing felt meaningless and though I knew what was meant, I decided this was not the place for me.
Reflecting on why I was triggered, I realized that we should treat every place as our own home, and that includes how we treat ourselves and the earth. It goes back to what I posted recently:
“The way we do one thing may reveal the way we do all things.”
That led me to contemplate language. A friend was speaking to her 8 year old granddaughter about her first day of third grade. She asked about the teacher. The child responded that “they” were nonbinary and would assign no homework. She equated the two with a happy priority on no homework which her older brother would be doing. My friend, a woman married to a woman, persisted in wanting to know if the teacher was male or female. The question had no meaning for the child. She said again that “they” are nonbinary.
The child lives in a progressive suburb outside of Chicago. Change is happening as we move toward a nonbinary world. I’m excited by this child’s view of the world, a world created to be greeted and treated with love, respect, curiosity, enthusiasm, and delight, and yes, may we treat where we dwell and ourselves as a place to be and feel home.