Interesting insight in Andy Stanley’s book Creating Community. He wrote about how in the past decades, American homes have front porches as prominent feature of the house. The front porch is the middle ground between the living room and the world outside. Years ago, it was normal for people to “run into” their neighbors sitting in the porch. A simple hello could lead to short conversations and before long, neighbors find themselves in the living room of the house next door and friendships are built.
Just recently, there is this change in modern architecture that changed this natural progression of relationships. Instead of porches, people prefer to build houses that are closed to the outside world. Instead of building connections, people now prefer seclusion. When people get home after a long and tiring day at work, they watch TV because do not want to see anymore people. They don’t want to have another conversation, or make another decision, or do another favor. So instead of going outside to the front porch, they retreat to the deck at the back of the house.
A similar trend can be seen in Manila today. It used to be that Filipinos invite friends over to their homes when they want to spend time together. Not so today. The mall is the ultimate solution to all our visitor problems. When we want to meet with friends, there’s Starbucks. It’s easier, it’s not messy. And we avoid having to explain our family to them and them to our families.
We try very hard to protect our inner sanctums. We work very hard to keep people away from us.