I forgot that I knew this. That people can get degrees in hospitality. You can even get one right here in the Portland metro area (at Mt. Hood Community College).
It is so strange to think that something so simple – so basic to human survival – has been stripped down to fit within the confines of a “science” and offered for sale.
I remembered that I knew about the hospitality industry when I read this article: http://www.jesusradicals.com/unpacking-hospitality/
There’s so much in there that I want to address, but for now I want to focus on what I see as the most salient kernel of truth. Which I gleaned from every writer’s secret best friend, Wikipedia. And which is this, another definition of the word hospitality itself. It is derived from the Latin hospes, formed from hostis, originally meaning “to have power.”
What an idea! That a community’s power comes from being warm, caring, welcoming, and loving!
Wikipedia’s etymology of hospitality concludes by saying:
In the West today hospitality is rarely a matter of protection and survival, and is more associated with etiquette and entertainment.
I felt something stir in my gut when I read this. And read it again…and again. I realized that I had found one of the most salient kernels of truth about TaborSpace. Which is that though we try, we may not always succeed in being the most polite. We are human. We may be tired at the end of a long day, and may be more curt than we wish. We may have fussy children that are a little louder than others would wish. But at the end of the day, simply by holding this space for each other, we are ensuring the survival of our community. We gladly offer a cup of coffee or soup to a stranger in need, because tomorrow when we are in need they will be the friend gladly giving it to us.