When preparing to present the character trait of Hospitality, I thought, that’s easy enough. I’ll just feed everyone and that will be a demonstration of hospitality. Thinking food was the key ingredient to hospitality, which immediately made me think of my grandmothers. Yes, as with most grandmas there was always food like homemade cookies, pies, candy, steak, stew, brown beans, cornbread, and on and on and on and on… and on. I realize only now that food was merely the tools they used in order to provide hospitality to me and the other grandkids. After a little more thought about those times, I realized there was a lot more to those visits to grandma’s than just eating, although we did a pretty good job of enjoying her offerings. This led me to come up with my own definition of Hospitality, which can be defined in three words, caring, sharing and investing.
My grandparents cared…They wanted to be involved in my life. They cared about not only the big things, but every aspect of my life, sports, school, hobbies, and friends. They cared enough to want to truly know me and in order to do that; they had to communicate with me. They simply cared enough take time and to ask.
Hospitality is sharing. They shared their experiences, their home, their advice, and most definitely their food.
Hospitality is investing. They invested themselves in my life. They became interested in me. They weren’t concerned whether I was interested in THEM. Through selfless acts those times were all about ME. Never once did they ask me to invest in them. However their return on investment turned out to be a lifelong relationship that both of us cherish.
That’s an easy example and hopefully most of us can relate. When you are considering the trait of hospitality, think about how you can care, share, and invest in people. At work, care enough to learn a fellow employee’s birthday, their interests, their kid’s names, their spouse’s name, or their favorite sports team. Share the same information with them. Use that information to develop a relationship so you can invest in them. Who knows, your return on investment might be a better work environment, more cooperation, more understanding, more teamwork, and maybe even some cookies on your birthday.
Make today a day remembered for caring, sharing, or investing in someone else.