Recently I have been following 40acts. 40acts is seeking transform generosity. I like the sound of this, especially when trying to raise funds, if people became more generous. However, it is not all about money. One day this week 40acts looked at being generous with hospitality, and how the most important thing is not having a house where everything is well ordered, tidy and dust free, or even having wonderful homemade quiche and cakes for people to enjoy. The most important thing is making people feel welcome and at home. If things are a little rough around the edges, people won’t mind.
Now today I ignored part of that advice and spent plenty of time preparing the house for visitors. This involved a lot of tidying and dusting and the like, as well as Cathy making some bread and cakes. Most of the reason we tidied up was due to the fact it was our parents coming round. Both sets of parents at once and it makes life easier if the house is clean when they come over.
We had a lovely time with everyone round, and I think we did our best to be as hospitable as possible.
Still, I do think that 40acts are on to something, because the places I have found to be most generous with their hospitality have not been grand places, but simple humble ones. Every time I visit Chennai I am blown away by how much hospitality we receive. The best example of this was at the Sathmanagar community centre. The community centre is always full of life and is a pleasure to visit, and we are always made to feel amazingly welcome. This was taken to another level when the local leader, who we have seen over a number of years, asked us to visit his house. Even though we were busy we made a few minute detour to visit. His house was tiny. We struggled to fit all of us in the front room, and yet it was an amazing act of generous hospitality. It was a remarkably and humbling experience, as we were supposed to be the generous people helping out. I think it would be a good thing to take a lesson from 40acts and the people of sathmanagar, they seem to know about being generous.