I came across a great article over the holidays called "Why Northerners Will Never Get Southern Hospitality". The title alone captured my attention and made me chuckle, but the heart of the material gave me genuine pause in the midst of the Christmas chaos. Author Roy Blount, Jr. writes:
"Before air-conditioning, climate was a factor [to hospitality]. In the South, people were more likely to be sitting on the porch when folks [walked by]. You couldn't pretend not to be home when there you were, sitting on [your] porch. You could pretend to be dead, but then you couldn't fan yourself."
Oh the irony! But in all seriousness, how do we get back to this? No, not the pretending to be dead part. The part where our culture had the time, energy, and good manners to make neighbors feel welcome. Hospitality has an innate selflessness about it. The act of preparing a meal, serving a drink, and chit-chatting on the porch personify human emotions. Being hospitable tells your guests "you matter more in this moment than anything else" (Note to self: resist the urge to check your phone!) Above all, the art of hospitality teaches a simple lesson: people come first. I'm looking forward to carrying this mantra into the new year.
Roy Blount's full article can be found here: https://www.rd.com/funny-stuff/southern-hospitality/