Hospitality is a universal principle.
Displaying kindness and generosity towards others, caring for their immediate needs, and offering whatever service one can do – that practice has been around since time immemorial.
Unfortunately, we, as a society, have largely lost this concept.
Sure, we sometimes throw parties and think about people’s needs in those cases. But true hospitality is what happens in our daily lives. It is the way we show care and welcome to others.
Why do we have such a difficult time with this practice?
We have gone so far down the rabbit hole of extreme individualism that we have forgotten we are meant to care for others, as much as and even more than ourselves.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal…. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses.” People all bear Christ’s image. People, and their lives and livelihoods, are all holy.
Something that all of the ancient religions understood is that we all are strangers at some point in our life. We all need help sometimes. None of us is able to get through this life without either the support of others or on the backs of others. And for those of us who would claim to follow Christ, we should never use people as a means to an end for our benefit.
We need to return to our roots and remember the holy practice of hospitality. It is universal and appears across almost all religions (and humanism). It is what we are meant to do as humans on this planet.
That means suffering inconvenience to ensure another’s safety. That means focusing on the set of lives being oppressed in order that all life might flourish. That means doing what you can, everyday, in order to see your neighbors (and strangers) live the lives they were meant to live.
Hospitality. Learn it. Do it. Love it.