Open House, Open Hearts

Let me tell you a secret about Germans: They are very private people. It takes a long time until they move away from superficial topics like the weather and actually share something about themselves. It takes even longer for them to invite you into their homes. For someone who has lived in cultures famous for their hospitality, this is sometimes a little unnerving.

I love hosting people.
Gathering friends and strangers around a table, enjoying great food and inspiring conversations.
Showing and giving something from myself, hoping that it would empower others to do the same.
Watching how an invisible bond is formed between us and we all leave a little different from the way we came.  

When we invite others into our space, we do more than offer a chair and some food.
We open our hearts and allow someone to see a bit more of ourselves. They see where and how we live, which tells them a little bit more of who we are.

In a society that takes so much pride in individuality, we have somehow lost touch with each other. We all want our independence while we discover a deep longing for community and a sense of belonging.
This cannot happen overnight, but it starts with one invite, one open house, one open heart.

Who can you invite into your house and life this week? 

Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

9 thoughts on “Open House, Open Hearts”

  1. You’re so right. Society truly has lost touch. I want to invite more in to. Great post! I’m in the 5 spot this week!

  2. Challenge accepted! Going to give this some serious thought. We have just moved back to South Africa after five years in Scotland. Where we first moved to Scotland I think people must have found me very intrusive. South African culture when you first meet someone is to ask loads of questions about themselves and their families… not so much in Scotland! Now I’m back “Home” i think some of the Scottish reticence has rubbed off on me! Time to get have some people over and ask a bunch of questions!

    1. Isn’t it interesting how we lose some really good cultural traits? I’ve lived in Pretoria for a while and I absolutely love the country! I hope you settle in well again after spending time in Europe!

  3. Love this, Katha…especially the forward-leaning question, “Who can you invite?” We all need to pay heed to this.

    Being Asian, my degree of reserve would make a German seem like a Greek (“Come over? Bring your family? What was your name again?”). It’snot something of which I’m proud, and I do try to overcome it…but am most successful with stray dogs (“Come on,little guy, we’re going to your new HOME!”).

    #1 at FMF this week.

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