A Front Porch Tops My List--By Bruce McIntyre

Bruce McIntyre is the founder of Choices Do Matter, a website devoted to thinking about choices we make and the impact those choices have. His long work history in businesses big and small informs his understanding of decision making, and his site is a space for open discussion about the choices we make and their long lasting, ripple effects. 

“If the world had a front porch like we did back then, we’d still have our problems but we’d all be friends. Treatin’ your neighbor like he’s your next of kin.” – Tracy Lawrence

When I’m ready for our next home, my must-have list will be short.

I want a home with a covered front porch, in a neighborhood full of other front porches.

That’s it. My list will stop there. Good schools, a walkable urban setting, age-friendly, nearby parks are nice, but neighborhoods without front porches no longer interest me.

Stepping off the front porch for a family snapshot in 1946. Can you find me?

Stepping off the front porch for a family snapshot in 1946. Can you find me?

You see, a front porch creates the world I want to live in. When you are with family and friends on the front porch, everyone needs to be kind. Shouting and arguing are not part of a front porch neighborhood. At least, not for long. Someone will tell you to, “Take it inside.”

Or worse, they will call the police.

When there are people on their front porches the streets are safer and the cars go slower. The world becomes kind and that is the world I want to live in.

I can speak to my neighbors when they walk by, even get to know their names. They may invite me over to visit and have a glass of tea on their porch. Wouldn’t that be nice? We could visit and never once get into politics or religion.The environment likes my front porch neighborhood also. When we are all outside in the summer, I can set the thermostat higher. In the winter, all I need is a sweater. No need to crank the heat way up. We also won’t need a light on in every room when we are out on the front porch in the evening. The TV will be off. We will talk to each other more.

That sounds good to me. What about you?

What do you think the most enjoyable part of a summer evening on a front porch would be? Visiting with neighbors? Reading a book? Listening to the evening sounds of the birds bedding down for the night?

Aways Welcome is a great label for our city. It will fit on my new front porch as well.

As always, the conversation starts here.

“In the ordinary choices of every day we begin to change the direction of our lives.” – Eknath Easwaran

This story is part of the Human Becomings Story Series. Please consider sharing your own story of becoming with the wider world. Submissions to this series will be posted as available. Visit "Your Story" for instructions and details.