Slow down and bring back the Front Porch!

Slow down and bring back the front porch!

We are living through stressful times, and it seems people are retreating from others at an alarming pace.

Malls and brick-and-mortar stores are closing because people would rather shop at home. Many people work (alone) from home, which is causing companies to shutter buildings (and there’ll be no one to fill those offices in the future since the workers will continue to work from home). The trend is for people to stay inside their homes to do their jobs, then later they remain in their house to watch television, play video games, and sit at their computers for hours looking at a plethora of social media platforms. When people go outside, they likely sit in their backyards surrounded by fences. 

I say: bring back front porches. Create a new culture in which we’re happy to converse with people passing by (and to interact with others).

We’re so used to a frantic pace; it seems when taking vacations, we’re unable to slow down. What happened to the notion that it’s enjoyable to relax on a porch with a beverage (your choice) and just let the day go by? How about that beautiful old standby habit of relaxing on the porch and falling asleep while reading an enjoyable book?

We are a wound-tight culture, and perhaps it’s time to turn off the television, the cell phones, tablets, and computers, and simply slow down and breathe some fresh air while speaking to your neighbors. Do you know their names? Do you know anything about them, or are they simply the people who live in the cubicle (ooops, I mean home) next to you?

How much value does life have if we don’t share it with others? Do you want to live in a world in which people close themselves off from everyone else, in nearly every aspect of life? Do you ever stop to think of these points and apply them to your own life?

If you don’t have a porch, finding a comfortable place outside your home where you can see and interact with others will also do nicely.

Don’t let the fast-paced stress of everyday living take you away from pleasant relaxation each day–and yes, schedule your time to relax, otherwise it won’t happen.

If you’re a person of faith, think of it this way: when you pass this life, do you think God will ask you why you didn’t look for more stress? The Lord blesses us with life, a beautiful world, friends, and family, and instead of slowing down and enjoying all those wonderful blessings, we feel stress about everything. Removing stress from your life is a choice, it is an act of the will.

Find a way to slow down.

I suggest you try this: for one week, stop using technology for two hours each day, go outside (if the weather allows) and just enjoy your surroundings, and if possible, talk to your neighbors. Enjoy the natural pace of life without the rush of a modern world. If it works for you, then try a second week and maybe make it three hours. You might begin to look forward to your scheduled down time.

Find a way to slow down, and if you have one, enjoy your front porch! Each of us has a certain number of hours, days, and years that we will live on this earth, so why are we in such a hurry and what are we rushing toward?

Let me know what you think in the comments (below), and please share this post.

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Thanks for reading,

T.P. Johnson

 

6 Replies to “Slow down and bring back the Front Porch!”

  1. Great thoughts! I love our front porch, and I do need to make a bigger effort to sit out there more often to connect with neighbors whom I have not met, as our neighborhood has many new faces. We are now the old folks of the neighborhood! I tend to sit out in the private backyard more often under our grape arbor, watching the birds and enjoying the flowers and skies. But, as wonderful as that is, I think I could give a friendly smile to people if I were on the porch….it might be just what someone needs Thanks for the nudge!

    1. Thanks for a great reply, Bette. I think it will do our country tremendous good to start relaxing, and to interact with each other in a pleasant way. Life gives plenty of reasons to feel stress, we must choose to lock it out for a while.

      Thanks again,

      Tom

    2. What a great idea! As a retired, elderly person I have the privilege of slowing down! Our younger people are losing their social skills by communicating with others through computers.

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, front porches, best ones have swings!
    Always a need to slow down and just take a moment. If more people did that, maybe we would not have all the mayhem out there!

  3. I am a porch gal and this was a wonderful article. We live in the country, so I don’t have neighbors now, but growing up, neighbors were home more, kept up with each other more,
    and were there during the day in whatever way they were needed. We need more of that too–and porches are a great part of that.

    1. Thank you, Marianne, for the wonderful comment. Obviously, I agree that porches are awesome. I love the way a porch allows for increased interaction between people. I believe we need to find ways to de-stress. So many people could use a porch. 🙂

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