The Greek word for hospitality (zenophilia) means love of strangers. Some people have a knack for making even strangers feel at home. Others seem to be better at making friends feel like strangers! Rodrick Durst always believed that being hospitable will often turn strangers into friends and family.
When I was growing up, my parents showed me how to make sure whoever came into our home felt at home. A crusty uncle of mine later told me, whenever I bought my own home, I should open my doors to the sort of people I wouldn’t normally mix with. He must have done a little time somewhere along the way, because he also told me to be mindful of those in prison. “Imagine what it would be like to be in prison yourself,” he asked. I’m not sure I’ve thought a lot about life in prison, but I have to tried to be kind to the people who have visited me.
I’ve always been a big James Allen fan. Allen believed there are four tendencies in the human mind which interfere with our ability to get along. The four tendencies are: Pride; Self-love; Hatred; and Condemnation.
Allen was convinced if we’ll be a little more modest, a little less interested in our own petty wants and wishes, a little slower at tossing the first stone, and a little faster appreciating people we have yet to understand, there’s a good chance we can become friends with people we never dreamed of knowing.
The four foundation stones which contribute to friendship are: Humility; Self-surrender; Love; and Compassion. Whenever these four things are present, there exists a possibility for unity and peace. The problem is these things run contrary to human nature. I don’t always want to put my neighbor’s interests first. I find it hard to bite my tongue, to control my temper, and especially hard to love people who disagree with me. And my compassion tank, oh my! that runs awfully low at times.
In Allen’s words: “Where two are determined to maintain an opposing opinion, the clinging to self and ill-will are there, and Brotherhood is absent. Where two are prepared to sympathize with each other, to see no evil in each other, to serve and not to attack each other, the Love of Truth and Good-will are there, and Brotherhood is present. All strifes, divisions, and wars inhere in the proud, unyielding self; all peace, unity, and concord inhere in the Principles which the yielding up of self reveals. Brotherhood is only practiced and known by him [her] whose heart is at peace with all the world.”
In Icona Pop’s song “I Love It,” Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt celebrate the end of a frustrating relationship. Whoever they were with was at a completely different place in life. In the song they sing, You’re on a different road. I’m in the milky way. You want me down on earth, but I am up in space. Whenever that occurs in any relationship, the result is always friction. Aino and Caroline are so annoyed they say, We gotta kill this switch.
But is there another way?
Whenever you get frustrated with someone you know or work with or even love, take a deep breath, grab a little time for yourself, and make sure you’re being as patient as you can before you decide to kill the switch. It’s always better to bear some grief from someone you know than shut them out of your life forever. Remember the Proverb: A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.