14.4 How to hospitality: a guest
I don’t know about you, but I have a tiny pang of panic when I know I’m about to be around people. Humans are awkward. It’s not just you. And I find that helpful.
Embrace awkwardness: it’s ok
I don’t know about you, but I have a tiny pang of panic when I know I’m about to be around people. Even if I know and love them and have spent tons of time with them, I get a crawly feeling and a moment of foggy disorientation just before a human engagement. Somehow I imagined that the high school or college freshman feeling should dissipate. Surely the more I attended events and had conversations, the easier it should get? Well, sometimes and kind of, but really I have not left the awkward freshman behind. She is right there, ready to make it weird.
If we’re going to live hospitably, we’re going to face The People. We’ll have to be where humans are, and even invite them into a space with us. I have a hard time believing that the welcome is enough, and I have thought that I have to make everyone comfortable and happy for the time to be “worth it”. I have avoided extending hospitality or partaking in it because I’m terrified that there will be awkwardness.
Guess what? There will be. And that’s ok.
Human beings in a room with other human beings are awkward for a while. You’d think we’d have figured out, as a species, how to speed past the painful bit and slide into acquaintance and friendship gracefully. But that’s not possible. Humans are awkward.
It’s not just you. And I find that helpful.
Ours is a Lonely Generation, desperate to be found and included. We’re all afraid that no one will come after us, no one is interested in us, no one wants to hear our stories. You feel that way. The People feel that way. One guest at a time, we need to be the hero who creates a pocket of welcome in the world and reaches out a hand to one person at a time.