I was listening to a dear sister share about how her mum had these special plates and mugs which were never used by them. Her mum insisted that those plates and mugs were only to be used if really special guests came over. I just laughed as she shared this as I can relate so much and I actually think most people would also relate. When we were younger my siblings and I dreaded the thought of having a guest over. We would not sleep the night before because mum made sure that we scrubbed the house like crazy; she took out all her new linen and towels for the guest to use. And of course the special plates, glasses and cutlery which we never touch would come out of storage. When I got older I understood better why mum did these things, she was trying to instil in us the concept of being hospitable.
I take my hat off for the individuals who saw a business opportunity in hospitality because the practice itself has always existed as part of human culture throughout the world. The industry dates back to ancient Greek times and even before that. It was about this time that Greeks came up with thermal baths that were designed for recuperation and relaxation. These thermal baths are said to be the origin of what we know as a modern day spa.
The first hotel that was established was Koshu Nishiyama in Japan which is said to be over 1300 years old. The hotel is still in operation till this day and has been run by the same family for several generations. The hospitability industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry and has been a great catalyst in making our world a global village. The word hospitality is an adaptation of the French word ‘hospice’ and was adapted to form the word ‘hospitality’ that means taking care of the travellers. Hospitality in its core is about taking care, pampering and helping (www.GlobalHospitalityPortal.co.za).
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this as I appreciate how hospitable my friends and family have been towards me. This made me realise that in the human heart there is a burning desire to be treated in a hospitable way. My faith is fundamentally rooted in servitude. I have a hospitality remembrance diary in my heart…these are all the people who opened their homes and hearts to me. Most of them I’m sure don’t know the extent of how they impacted my life…but I pray for them, I treasure them and I hope to be able to bless their lives.
Maya Angelou put it best when she said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.