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Issue #7: Hospitality as a Personal Philosophy
A Double Stage Feature, a Triple Film Feature, the Conclusion of our Three-Part Restaurant Series, and some notes on one of our oldest values
Happy Hump Day, Y’all.
Hospitality is one of the oldest human values. The ancient Greeks called it Xenia, and for them it encompassed facets such as friendship with guests and a moral obligation to extend hospitality to strangers and foreigners. It’s a major theme of the Iliad and the Odyssey, so much that a violation of hospitality causes the Trojan War.
During the holiday season, hospitality — or lack thereof, depending on your translation — is a fundamental part of the Christmas story. “If a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him,” is an important verse in the Torah, making the idea of “no room at the inn/no room in the guest-chamber” even more surprising. The Prophet Muhammad emphasizes the importance of generosity to guests as well.
For such a universal human value, I’ve always found it strange that Americans don’t tend to talk about it as much as the rest of the world. Hospitality has long been a part of my personal philosophy, from invitations and hosting parties, to cooking meals and giving gifts. It has influenced my views on immigration, charity, and so many other facets of my life.
That’s why Sarah Sheldon’s series on respect in the restaurant is so important to me. Sarah, like many contributors to our publication, has worked in hospitality and the restaurant industry — an industry that has undergone a dramatic transformation in the wake of the pandemic. If you’re eating out during the holidays, I hope you’ll read it, especially her final piece on tipping and overstaying your welcome.
Below, you’ll find Sarah’s complete series:
Additionally, Jesse gives us a double dose of Christmas shows, including one that should be a Charlotte tradition, and Matt gives us a triple-dose of Oscar bait as we approach that other most wonderful time of the year: awards season.
This Week’s Stories
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s WARHOLiday Party is tonight from 6 PM to 9 PM, and it’s free to attend as part of “Wednesday Night Live,” which includes free admission to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and the Mint Museum, as well as live entertainment or programming at one of the three institutions or the Knight Theater.
This is a great opportunity to come see the Bechtler’s “Pop to Now” exhibit, featuring Andy Warhol and others, before it leaves.
Disclosure notice: Sam Spencer serves on the board of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
During the holidays we often spend time in other people’s spaces, including homes, restaurants, stores, movie theaters, and hotels. While some of our writers have served and will serve you during the holidays, my most notable service industry experience was cleaning up popcorn and wiping down sticky floors in all 16 houses at Movies at Birkdale.
I’m still struck by this picture from the World Cup, with the Japanese football team doing what they normally do even after a historic victory:
Someone’s likely going to have to clean up after many of us this holiday season; how much they have to do is up to you.
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