Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Habitat for Humanity: Beauty

As I stand in a destroyed row house of Santown, Maryland, I begin to see the house for what it is a future home. Helping with the construction of this home allowed me to appreciate the beauty behind the object. Habitat for Humanity allowed me to see the beauty in a worn down row house and let me see a beautiful home and opportunity for those less fortunate.

Habitat for Humanity is a group of people, in this case Loyola students, who contribute to a project house. Throughout the year they contribute to the construction of this house and help build this house for a person of the Baltimore community who cannot afford the expenses of a house. Not only does Habitat for Humanity build a house, it builds a home.

When I met Omar, the soon to be home owner, I was filled with excitement. This new ‘home’ will become his. His appreciation for the house was amazing and made me rethink if he was really ‘less fortunate’. He could see the beauty of the house, past the dust filled basement with large piles of wood, and could see it for what it really is, a home. Some people still strive to see that ‘construction cite’ as a home, which in my eyes makes them less fortunate. The people, who cannot see the beauty of the rundown row house, cannot see the potential that the house has. In this case, Omar’s vision of his dream home to come. His appreciation for his house, even at its current state, shows his true gratitude for his new home. His knowledge and appreciation for the simple things in life show me the importance of finding beauty in the simplicity of life.

Just like in “The Birthmark” the husband and wife’s view on beauty is different. The wife appreciates the uniqueness of her birthmark, where her husband sees it as an imperfection. Just like how Omar appreciates the beauty of his nonexistent house, and the passersby see in the home as just another rundown row home. The different perspectives of beauty make life interesting. “One man’s trash is another’s treasure” Just like in “I wandered lonely as a Cloud” the speaker sees beauty in the little things in life, and doesn’t take what is in front of him for granted.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Omar’s appreciation for his home shows his gratitude towards the potential of his home. His fire is what keeps the people of Habitat for Humanity going. His admiration and appreciation towards the beauty of his home allows the volunteers to see their service acting in a full circle. The circle of the Jesuit tradition, where what you put in is what you get out and education of the person as a whole.

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