What are you? A welcoming space where friends are received with open arms, a beautiful entry way encouraging communication, collaboration, and love OR are you a big, cold metal box filled with the junk you dont want anyone to see?
Seems harsh, but here’s where I’m going.
As multi-vehicle families became the norm, housing developers traded front porches for garages. Houses and subsequently neighborhoods went from an intimate community to merely a place to keep your stuff and catch some zzz’s before doing it all over again the next day. Let’s face it, no one drives through a neighborhood admiring the garages… “Oh wow, look at the detail of the aluminum garage door on that house…” I don’t think so. We marvel at the potential for community, block parties, and just good conversation shared with friends. That doesn’t happen with closed garage doors, that happens with a neighborly wave from a front porch rocking chair.
So how does this apply? Let’s take a look at the question again… Which one are you? How do you present yourself to those around you?
I admit, I have a tendency to fall on the side of the cold metal box. Not because I don’t want to nurture relationships, but because it’s easy… and even more so it’s safe. When I close myself off from the rest of the world and just pile up junk, I don’t have to risk getting hurt. Slowly, but surely I am learning that the reward of hanging out on the front porch far outweighs the risk.
How will you become the front porch of your world (work, family, friends, the daily routine)? How are you perceived today? If you tend to close up and resemble a locked up garage full of junk, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and wave to a couple neighbors.
What’s the best part of all of this? It’s contagious! Yes, front porches are contagious and better yet they help clean up the junk! A simple smile in the hallway at work, a kind word to your child’s teacher, or a honest compliment to a friend… they are all ways of getting rid of the junk and stepping outside the cold metal box.
When we use our time to nurture community and spread optimism there’s just no time left to accumulate a garage full of junk.