Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Key to New Friendships

There are several keys to friendship which I cannot enter into at this time.  The one I would like to discuss, however, is hospitality.  Hospitality is defined as "the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers."  In ancient times, a kingdom's hospitality towards strangers welcomed friend and foe alike.  Regardless of nationality or political interest, a traveler upon the road was received into the halls with ceremony and civility.  In other cultures there exists a tradition of setting an extra place at table in preparation for any passersby seeking food and shelter.  The guest was treated with the utmost honor and deference.  This generous welcome of strangers hearkens back to Christ's command that we care for the least of these, our brethren.  In practicing true hospitality, we can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc.  Furthermore, through this practice of hospitality, we can create new acquaintances which may develop into life-long friendships.

I recently began co-teaching a young girls' hospitality group based largely on the Little Women Hospitality Group books.  The lessons range from cleaning to table settings and invitations to hosting a party.  Each lesson draws upon various saints and literary figures as examples for the tasks taught.  Our first lesson was on baking and the hospitality of cooking.  After reading an excerpt from Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, we discussed the proper steps for baking and the numerous uses for cooking skills.  A few examples of cooking hospitality include: taking a meal to a sick friend; hosting a party; helping out with family meals.  The girls learned that once they learn the useful art of cooking, they can practice it through their hospitality.  By putting to use a wonderful skill, they can bring joy into the lives of others around them.  

As we continue through this book, I will share my insights upon the lessons therein.  I highly recommend the book to any and all considering beginning a young girls' group.  The Catholic influences found in the prayers combined with the excellent literary selections creates a beautiful setting for teaching true hospitality to young girls.  It is never too early to begin, although most of the work is probably best begun around 7 or 8 yrs. old.  The arts and practices taught in this book (or through any number of young girls' groups) will be used throughout their entire lives as they embark upon the road of adulthood and form their own families until one day they pass on their knowledge to their own children.

No comments:

Post a Comment