I remember once, at a camping industry conference, going to a seminar on hospitality. It resonated with me, this idea that it is important to make people feel welcome. We have to come outside ourselves and welcome others into our space, our hearts, our minds, and our lives. I think it is intricately linked to empathy.
Hospitality is generous and warm and authentic. It is helpfulness, neighborliness, and cordiality. It can happen in person, over long distances, and in today’s world on social media. It is preparing that favorite dessert that you know is a favorite of your guest, or your husband/wife. It is stopping to help pick up the things that fell out of the grocery bag for the person who parked next to you, even when you’re in a hurry.
We do love our routines, developing them around what is comfortable for us. Hospitality requires that we step outside those routines now and then, to accommodate another. We move over and make a little more room at our fire so that someone else can enjoy the warmth. I want to find those little places each day where I can be more hospitable. Sometimes, this might need to include making room for myself.