Make a list of the common shared assumptions, values and stories that you find. Post this list on your blog.

After Responding to 3 student blogs (and reading a few others) it seems to me that the common denominator in all of our stories is that home is linked to freedom. The freedom to explore (Charlotte Tilstra), to be yourself (Sandra Wu), and to break new ground and form new relationships (Sean Strum). Even in my own story, a pervasive theme is how home gives us the freedom to belong. It would seem that we all agree that home is not a definable “place”. Home is more of a feeling that connects us to places, people, experiences, and pets too! (Mia Calder).

Photo Credit: Getty. Freedom. Web.

Through these stories, I was once again struck by a deep sense that having the freedom to tell our stories (and feel heard and respected) builds into our sense of belonging, and, therefore, of home.

But this is a privileged experience.

Although home is not just “place”, geographical locations are still essential to our definitions of home. Soaring housing prices and the increasing cost of living in Vancouver is consistently forcing people from their homes; away from places of memory, relationship, and belonging. But the tragedy around these realities is not just about housing; it is about home. Unfortunately, for many of us, Vancouver might be “home”, but it is not where we live.

Photo Credit: MindMetaphors. Exploring Identity and Belonging. Web.

The inability to settle where we feel most at home is a story that has been told for generations. And it is still being told now. One need only watch the news to see examples of how population growth, gentrification, war, famine, discrimination, drought, and flood are forcing so many from their “homes”.

I don’t think that stories have the power to change these facts of life. I don’t think stories can solve the world’s problems. But I do think that developing a sense of empathy and compassion through intentionally listening can go a long way to fostering a renewed sense of home for those experiencing the pain of displacement.