I think hospitality starts in the heart and flows outward from there. If I have a YES kind of attitude, then love and light will radiate from me. If I'm cynical, then even if I work hard at faking hospitality, the other person will sense my distrust or fear and feel unwelcome.
A yes attitude says, "Hey, awesome, here is someone to love." It's a faithful attitude.
A no attitude searches for excuses and focuses on flaws. For example, "This guy looks too much like Albert Einstein so I'm not gonna open the door." or "She's not chatty enough." or "That fat guy wears sweat pants in public and that's disgusting. I don't want him over." or "I'm not going to try and get to know her if she's a Catholic." It is entirely possible to have a no attitude and be full of giggles at the same time. It's also possible to feed someone a gourmet meal and yet communicate hostility or rudeness. That's because hospitality is about more than just food. It needs a personal warmth and flexibility along with it.
I think it's generally acknowledged in our culture that if someone visits our home, it's our responsibility to extend hospitality and that's because many newcomers naturally experience varying degrees of fear about being in a new place. And being outnumbered puts them in a weak position.
If I can put aside my expectations of how I think that person has to behave, chances are he is going to be much more at ease in my presence. But if I'm unhappy with him from the very beginning, it's going to be difficult to gain his respect after that. A first impression, whether nasty or warm or even just... stale, can set the tone for future encounters with that person.
If I'm not ready to accept the new person with a yesattitude, it has more to do with me and my own immaturity or mental blockage than it does with him (or her). It's like being happy to inhale an ice-cream cone when someone hands it to me but not willing to dish out any ice-cream myself. It's not a bad idea to get some help for that.
But all this begs the question. Where does a yes attitude come from?
There was a small girl walking through town, playing her flute.
She walked along the sidewalk.
She walked into gas stations and into stores, all the while playing her flute.
Some people got mad. "Stop your noisemaking!" they scolded.
But the girl kept walking and playing her flute.
She walked and walked.
Then some more people got mad. "Stop that stupid noisemaking!" they said.
But she kept going.
More people got mad. "Why are you playing that flute? Stop it!"
Finally she took her lips off her instrument and said, "I'm following Jesus."
The people got quiet and she walked some more, all the while playing her flute.
She walked and played.
And she walked all the way up into the clouds where she saw birds flying and rainbows all around!
If you're super observant you might notice I've begun using only one space after each period. I've been typing two spaces for years, but last month I read a blurb called Why You Should Never, Ever Use Two Spaces After a Period. The title is a bit extreme so as to catch attention and that's fine. No need to get snappy. The article is helpful, I think.
Social media has been my practicing arena for switching over. It required more work at first because habits are hard to break, but eventually I didn't need to delete that second space as often and started to appreciate the nice, tight feel of the single space. My sentences aren't so far apart from one another now. My work seems less choppy.
But the great thing is nobody's going to get punished for typing two. That would be lame! So if you're a bloggy person like me and you prefer two, I say go for it. And if you wanna switch to one like I did, that's also fine. It's not like you'll get kicked off the internet because of it.