Home & Happiness: how we relate | Book Launch in Valladolid, Spain

A few days ago, we had the opportunity to present ‘Happiness and Domestic Life’ at the European University Miguel de Cervantes in the Spanish city of Valladolid. Three of their professors are authors of one of the chapters of the book and invited us to talk about Home and Happiness at their University.

Professor Raquel Martínez, PhD in Psychology and specialist in Positive Psychology, explained from this discipline that a person’s happiness or well-being is studied through different indicators that are proposed by different models, such as: self-acceptance, purpose in life, autonomy, personal growth, mastery of the environment, the ability to commit to oneself… But there is one that is repeated and that has to do with relationships.

Undoubtedly, how we relate to others is fundamental when it comes to assessing whether we are happy or not… Prof. Martínez stated that our future depends on how we learnt to build relationships at home. We will know how to relate, better or worse, depending on how we develop our attachment as children. Attachment is the affective bond that is formed in the first year of life thanks to our interaction with our caregivers or attachment figures. When attachment figures are unconditional and attend to the child’s needs, the child generates the expectation of being worthy of being loved and will build future relationships with security.

Professor Celia Martín, PhD in Business Organisation from the University of Valladolid and an expert in Human Resources, looked for parallels between the company and the home, understanding both as two key spheres in a person’s life and in which it would be essential for our happiness to achieve a positive natural transfer, i.e. that one nurtures the other and vice versa. Both cores are places of development for the person at different stages of life, both have very similar structures on a small and large scale. Moreover, nowadays, the boundaries of separation are becoming increasingly difficult to establish, so it would be great to transfer this human component from the home to the workplace.

On the other hand, one of the motivations that employees often value when choosing a company or staying with it is the personal relationships with their colleagues, superiors and the rest of the working environment. How are these relationships within the human group within a company? Is there communication, do we take care of each other, how is the support?

Elena Gordo and Ricardo Pindado, family delegates of the archbishopric of Valladolid, insisted that the home is the place where you are loved for who you are and where there is a keyword that does not understand percentages: dedication. Ricardo said that it is in the home that we learn to relate to each other, where we learn to give thanks, ask for forgiveness, respect others…

Finally, Prof. Joaquín Esteban PhD in Philosophy from the University of Salamanca and PhD in Theory of Education from the University of Valladolid, reflected on the current concept of home… and compared the sedentary, restful, timeless home with the new ‘liquid homes’ we find today, in which everything is the fruit of speed, in which there is no timeline and it is more difficult to put down roots.

The ‘liquid home’ is what anthropologists call the “non-place”, modules of connections, but not prepared for nesting, for inhabiting. If we think of the house, a house is not a home, unless it is a lived-in house. But what is living? Is it biological inertia? The house has to be hospitable for the sacred essence of human life to be realised. But is it necessary to build to inhabit, or is inhabiting prior to building?

We shall soon be devoting a whole post to the contribution of philosopher Joaquin Estaban, to this important debate to discover an increasingly predominant reality that is worth exploring in depth.