Today I would like to talk about hospitality. It feels good to find spaces and people where we can feel at home. The experience of hospitality shapes our individual and collective sense of community. Almost all fairy tales and stories touch on the topic of hospitality and its opposite, hostile rejection and exclusion.

The first community is the family that can provide us with and let us experience a sense of hospitality. There are many people who occasionally, or in some cases frequently, experience hostile rejection in their families. There are loved, longed for children and unloved children who are being rejected, excluded or abandoned. This initial experience shapes the whole life. We are also met with situations of hospitality and hostile disputes later in life, at work, in business or in politics. I think we all agree as human beings that hospitality feels better than hostile rejection, however the question arises why we cannot cultivate hospitality more permanently. Of course, part of hospitality is also to be good guests. Why do so many people still lean towards hostile encounters despite education and modernity. Families and schools are the primary places where initial knowledge and experiences of encounters are gained. Hospitality as a subject of education for families and schools is certainly worth exploring. Children who learn about hospitality will greet co-workers in a friendly manner later in life, will pass on hospitality in their families. Schools and workplaces will pass on hospitality to the next generation. At some point, the whole world becomes a place of hospitality towards other cultures, whether poor or rich, sick or healthy. Isn’t it worth considering hospitality?

I wish you a good new week

Gertrud Müller

Artist: Gisela Schulze Bachmann