We often begin our meetings with a reflection which helps put our work in context and maybe even provides us with some hope and inspiration.
The following reflection was read at our October 8 meeting by our Secretary of Records, Chris Sturken.
The home is the center of life. It is a refuge from the grind of work, the pressure of school, and the menace of the streets. We say that at home, we can “be ourselves.” Everywhere else, we are someone else. At home, we remove our masks.
The home is the wellspring of personhood. It is where our identity takes root and blossoms, where as children, we imagine, play, and question, and as adolescents, we retreat and try. As we grow older, we hope to settle into a place to raise a family or pursue work. When we try to understand ourselves, we often begin by considering the kind of home in which we were raised.
Residential stability begets a kind of psychological stability, which allows people to invest in their home and social relationships. It begets school stability, which increases the chances that children will excel and graduate. And it begets community stability, which encourages neighbors to form strong bonds and take care of their block.
The above two excerpts are from Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond’s book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. The book takes an in-depth, sociological look at the many aspects of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s deeply rooted housing struggles. The book is highly recommended for anyone who would like to get a better sense of one of the most important issues gripping our nation.