Before starting this program I had a misunderstanding of what hospitality was. I believed it was only the way one treated those in one’s home. Funny enough, I had never even looked up the definition of the word. According to ‘Dictionary.com’ hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests and strangers. Taking that definition, hospitality applies to so many things and so many places.
I never thought about the fact that I could have or lack hospitable behavior towards clients at my job. But when I stopped to think about it, even calling into an office is like the person being a guest. With that in mind I started making sure that I was being hospitable to every client that called in, within reason, of course. There must be moderation to hospitality so that we don’t allow people to run over us, but that does not mean that we have to be rude or mean. It means that we have the right to stand up for ourselves, yet doing it with respect.
Something else that occurred to me was that as a nation we should be thinking about hospitality. Many times we are not the gracious hosts to visitors or immigrants that come into our country. If they are from a nation that has history of causing problems with us, we tend to treat them disrespectfully. We are a nation that was founded on welcoming the different. We were also quests at one point or another in history to this land but we were not the most grateful visitors. This could very well be a part of why we as a nation treat those coming to our country the way we do. This train of thought also makes me wonder if a part of hospitality is also being respectful guest, because hospitality is two sided. So I think that is something else that people should think about when it comes to meditating on hospitality. I believe in many cases that explains some of the attitudes that other nations have about American when we visit their countries. It seems that in some cases we are not the most respectful, thinking that our host countries should bow to the way we are use to living our lives in America. Really makes you wonder if the French don’t have a reason for their notorious attitude towards visiting American.
There is really no difference from this kind of hospitality than what we show within ADF for people who are interested in what we do as a religion or simply want to observe our rituals and rights. We are the hosts in this case that are showing respect and hospitality, yet we also temper our hospitality with moderation for those who might become rude and disruptive.
In the end I realized that I could practice hospitality by respecting everyone as well as being the friendly person that I am. I could practice hospitality by also being a respectful guest when I am with friends, businesses, different states or countries. Hospitality is a virtue that has the potential to bring respect and peace to all the nations of the world as well as among individuals.