By Scott Jones
What is Hospitality?
For many of us today showing hospitality is having friends and family over for a weekend BBQ or for a delicious dinner. It is opening up our homes, and being skilled at entertaining. Others might connect hospitality to the quality of service experienced at a fancy restaurant or a five-star hotel. And even some might know hospitality as doughnuts and coffee after a religious service. What if hospitality is something that has evolved over time? What if hospitality could be reclaimed and restored to its original meaning?
For over three thousand years, the original meaning of Hospitality was about welcoming the stranger into your life. Hospitality was about accepting the stranger, and making them feel as though they were one of your family members even though they were a guest. It was about sharing a meal together and getting to know one another.
We have been taught by our parents, teachers, and media phrases like “don’t take candy from strangers” and “stranger danger”. We have been trained to see the stranger as someone to be feared, and at all costs avoided. Even the word stranger, is just plain strange. What if strangers were not strange at all, but potential friends, and even family?
We Love Long Beach values hospitality and welcoming strangers (our next door neighbors) as one of our values of our organization. We see hospitality as the onramp to new trust, care and neighborliness. We believe hospitality doesn’t need to start inside our homes but in our front yards. The front yard is a safe, personal place where our stories are shared, our gifts and skills are unearthed, and where new connections on our blocks are formed.
We believe these intentional relationships with our neighbors are at the center of a safer and healthier city. We can’t care for our neighbors if we don’t know our neighbors. We can’t know our neighbors if we don’t start with welcome and hospitality as the first step of neighborliness.
Please join us in showing hospitality to strangers, our next door neighbors.
CitywidePumpkin Party, Saturday, October 24th from 3-5pm. Want to Host on your block? More details, email firstname.lastname@example.org