I watched a news segment on homelessness in America yesterday. The images of families living in tent cities and walking streets, waiting for shelters to open has haunted me. Today, take a look around your home. Take in the sights and the smells. The home you live in now may not be the home of your dreams. It probably does not measure up to some of the homes you see on television. Perhaps your home is cluttered with the flotsam and jetsam of family life. If Martha Stewart came to call, she might not find you properly decorated for the season. But this is the garden were you must grow for now. This place deserves something from you. The fact that the roof is over your head must be held with gratitude.

Take one small step today to make the house you live in your home. Repair one broken thing. Hang a picture or plant a flower. Buy a fire extinguisher. Wash the windows. In an uncertain future, we must nurture the things we have that are real and abiding; our family, our friends, our communities and our homes.

A good deal of the financial pain that many are feeling today is the result of seeing their homes as financial rather than emotional investments. People who should have known better removed permanent equity for fleeting pleasures; the car, the vacation, the boat. Our country will not recover until we figure out a value system that is based on something beyond a culture of stuff.