The holidays are fast approaching. I hope that you plan to have visitors in your home. Hospitality is a factor in many aspects of our lives. Though often we do not give it a second thought. Have you ever arrived some place and felt ignored or unwelcome? Good hospitality would never allow that. My grandmother was always a hospitable and gracious hostess. She always taught the family that hospitality is important. Not only when being a host, but that it was equally important when one was a guest.
Being Good Host/Hostess
What makes someone a good host or hostess? I think the character traits of honesty, compassion and generosity are key. Grandma always had a warm inviting way about her. She greeted visitors with a smile and always offered them something to eat and drink. The fare was always simple, home-made and delicious. Grandma offered food and drink freely, never with a sense of duty or expectation of repayment. Listening to your guests and responding with sincere, thoughtful words makes a great host. Being kind, generous and compassionate toward your guests will make them feel welcome.
So how do I get better?
Becoming a better host or hostess is like becoming better at any part of your life. It requires an effort. It requires a direction. And it requires some understanding. The understanding is the easy part. Knowing what you as a good host or hostess must do is the first step. Have a clean, inviting home. You do not need a palace or even a huge sitting room to be a good host. You do need something to drink and eat to offer your guests. It can be as simple as water and peanut butter crackers. Here are some good tips for hospitality on a budget.
Hospitality is important. We can make the world a more inviting place, one visit at a time. You get better by practicing. If you are having trouble getting started, invite a good friend over and practice with them. When you feel more comfortable, ask that friend to bring someone with them. Keep practicing and soon you will be a hospitable and gracious host or hostess.
Simply be compassionate. Commit acts of caring. Don’t be lazy or timid and take the easy way out by ignoring those in need around us. How do I develop compassion? By taking action.Does being compassionate alone make one a compassionate person? Does it need a kind act once a week, or once a day or once an hour? It is not easily defined, yet we see someone and we are quick to label them. So how do I develop a trait that we all recognize but have trouble defining? I say don’t worry about the definition so much and simply take action.
“We need compassion because life is hard.” – Paul Gilbert
How do I develop compassion? By making a conscious effort every single day to better than you were the day before. By taking action and doing a kind and caring thing for someone that can never repay you. Don’t ask what you can get out of situation. Instead, ask what you can give. If you have an hour or so, check out the following video from the Dalai Lama
Where’s the handbook?
There is no single book or class that will teach you to be a good, caring person of character. It takes hard work, perseverance and action. Every. Single. Day. You are either moving forward or sliding backwards. You may think you are standing still and maintaining the “status quo” but you are really moving the wrong direction. There are many religious books that have good thoughts in them and studying them is useful if you are so inclined. Having the knowledge in those books is a good thing, but knowledge is no substitute for action. An act of compassion touches much more that the person you act toward. It makes you a more compassionate person, It moves those that see your generous action. How do I develop compassion? The same way you develop any other character trait, action, daily practice and hard work.
Leave your thoughts and questions on developing compassion in the comments below. Please use the social media links to share with your friends.
There are not too many things that will shine a bright light on your character and expose all the dark nooks and crannies for everyone to see. Moving across the country is one of these events. I think this is especially true if you are down-sizing and need to rid yourself of a few things. Getting ready to move is not usually too bad. The packing of the boxes often is a bit stressful especially if you do not plan and keep the things you need on a day-to-day basis separate and unpacked. Moving shows character, especially when things go wrong.
Anyone that has moved knows the many steps that can go awry. Just to name a few:
You don’t have enough boxes
You run out of tape
The truck isn’t big enough
The movers are late
The dolly has a flat tire
The couch does not fit through the door
Of course this list is not comprehensive, please feel free to add your own moving adventures to the comments below. No matter what you are moving to or from, there will be stress involved. How you deal with it, in essence, shows what your personal substance. Moving shows character. Up-sizing, down-sizing, right-sizing does not matter. I find it helpful take a short mental break now and then to release any pent-up aggression. Read, blog, go out to dinner, have some wine, but get away from the moving. I also recommend MovingHelp.com. Great for that extra labor to haul heavy things up and down stairs.
Yes, moving shows character. So does any stressful situation in which you find yourself. Learning to relax and breathe can help. Having good character is a great think, but character really needs displaying when you find yourself in a difficult situation.
What are some of your moving or other stories where your character was on display for all to see? I’m looking forward to your thoughts.