“There is no hospitality like understanding.”
– Vanna Bonta (1958-2014)
Most of the time, I am a solitary as I love to spend my evenings and my weekends quietly in solitude. However, I have many friends and I like to invite them at my place for a cup of coffee, a chat or to watch a movie. Sometime, I’ll even offer to organize and prepare the dinner. I already offered my guests a bed for the night, so they could relax and spend some more time at my apartment without having to spend for a hotel. To me hospitality is a way to be nice with our friends, our family, by offering them food, shelter, and good company. As I said, I’m more a solitary person, but my door is always open to my friends and family and I’m permanently available to help them when they need it.
The ADF Dedicant Manual defines the word ‘hospitality’ as follows:
HOSPITALITY: Acting as both a gracious host and an appreciative guest, involving benevolence, friendliness, humor, and the honoring of “a gift for a gift.”
This definition is satisfactory, except that I’m not necessarily a fan of the ‘humor’ word. To me, offering hospitality doesn’t necessarily include making them laugh! Let’s compare the ADF definition with the one found in the Oxford dictionary:
HOSPITALITY noun. – The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
This time, the word ‘humor’ has been replaced by a similar word, which is ‘entertainment’. Hospitality, in both descriptions, is not only used to provide shelter and food, but also to entertain the guests, which is an interesting point of view. I have nothing against that, because I can understand the difference between receiving guest by obligation as opposed to receiving guests by appreciation, which fall more into the hospitality meaning. When obligated to have guests, it become more a duty than anything else, and it’s easy to believe that entertainment will be the last of the host concerns. However, when someone is invited by an appreciative host, it’s surely to be a joyful reunion. Here is my own definition:
HOSPITALITY: The appreciative and generous reception of guests, visitors, or strangers, involving entertainment, benevolence and friendliness.
Like the other values, I’ve combined both existing definitions to make my own. This time, I only reorganized the wording, including ideas from both sources. I made sure to add the ‘appreciative’ adjective from ADF, as it seems very important to me in a way to separate it from the concept of obligation.
Word Count: 375 words (excluding the introductory, the Oxford and the ADF quotes)
- Corrigan, Ian. Our Own Druidry. Tucson: ADF Publishing, 2009.
- Oxford Dictionary – “Hospitality“