If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now A series of paintings by Justin David Gustafson
Our homes are akin to temples of incidental narcissism, replete with shrines to ourselves. In the act of living our lives we fill them with tools and toys that are symbolic of our talents and penchants. They’re adorned with a décor that denotes our personality. Even the ideas that we allow inside, in the form of literature, news and entertainment , give clues to our character. The sanctuary which we call “home” cloaks us in a world of our own making.
We surround ourselves in an insidious “comfort zone”, sheltering us, not only from the elements, but also from outside thoughts and ideas. I freely admit that I am no exception. Though I make a point of seeking out modes of thought alien to my own, particularly those with which I disagree or am even hostile toward; when I’m not expending that effort I find myself slipping into the comfortable deception that my own views are true enough, if not wholly unassailable.
This comfort is insidious because, though it soothes us, we do not grow as individuals by slavishly holding to unchallenged, inherited ideals. Personal development implicitly relies upon exposure to unfamiliar notions. As Aristotle said “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Although awkward and uncomfortable upon introduction, only through entertaining new ideas do we become adequately equipped to assimilate the useful and disregard the unnecessary or harmful.