Sunday, October 27, 2013

Virtues Essay: Hospitality


The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

                                                                              --Oxford American English Dictionary

Hospitality is at the center of many modern druidic practices.  Pulling from a tradition of hospitality that can be traced back to the Proto-Indo-European *ghosti, hospitality is, at its core, a formal recognition of relationships of reciprocity. 

This obligation to reciprocity, to giving and receiving, serves as a framework for how we should structure our lives.  There are virtually no confines to how we should manifest our hospitality.  We should give of ourselves not only to friends and family, but to strangers and other less familiar persons.  We should be patient and share our time with those of sympathetic hearts and minds, but also with those who may be perceived in more adversarial roles.  We should be gracious in our receiving of gifts offered by others, just as we expect our beneficiaries to appreciate that which we put forth.

Our acts of hospitality are not limited to this plane, as this obligation to reciprocity applies to our relationships with all the Kindred as well.  For the Kindred are real and deserve the same respectful and meaningful exchanges we offer to those made of flesh and blood. We can only ask for their blessings if we have first offered them our own heartfelt gifts. 

In fact, it is these acts of hospitality, the never-ending spiral of these reciprocal exchanges both physical and spiritual, that forms a type of back bone, or axis mundi, of our world. Mutually beneficial exchanges keep order in form and turn away the chaos (represented by hatred, hunger or perhaps fear).  Hospitality ties us all together and places our fates in a common pool.

                                       "There is no hospitality like understanding." --Vanna Bonta

No comments:

Post a Comment