A Room for the Wayfarer
Dee Dee Risher is a long-time friend of the Project HOME community (and former staff member). Her recent book, The Soulmaking Room, is a reflection on how we embrace our difficult experiences and struggles as a path toward wholeness. You can purchase the book through Project HOME here. Here is an excerpt:
I consider my own story, the hospitality others offered me, the ways that they opened their lives. Hospitality has allowed me to break down divisions, barriers, and misperceptions. Any border-crossing I have done has been possible because of hospitality. Ultimately, people have welcomed me deeply and invited me to make myself at home with them. More than anything else, this extension of some intimacy, some trust with their lives, is precisely what allowed me to begin to see the world in a different way. People have taken me in – shared their housing, their food, their families – and shaken apart all my assumptions. I have taken people into my home, which sparked an internal journey into knowing myself better. The hospitality of others is the most transformative force I know. It made me wish to live in a way that was worthy of their generosity. Hospitality taught me to love better.
The practice of hospitality is the only authentic antidote to the cultural propensity to operate in increasingly stratified realities. We live in a world defined by schism and full of political litmus tests. Hospitality dismantles balkanization and reduction, ideological polarization, and black-and-white thinking. It makes us human to one another. And when it does that, it also breaks down our barriers. It will come as a revolution with a human face, devoid of ideology and political partisanship.
Hospitality forces us to take in the real and complex person at our door – the person right in front of us who may be different than we are – as opposed to seeking out only certain people. Our technological age gives us tremendous capacity to remain insular, and it can also increase and reinforce that insularity. Whatever my beliefs, the web of technology allows me to find those who support my viewpoints. Without those who can challenge our thinking, we may sink deeper and deeper into our own perspectives. I can create a virtual community of assent instead of living in a real, incarnated community of characters, conflict, and compromises. We often use the Internet to reinforce our own paradigms. It is no wonder that we find our country (and world) convulsed in unprecedented political polarization.
Hospitality – whether we accept it or offer it – can steer our lives off the beaten, predictable path. And when it veers off in a new direction, gifts come – unexpected and even miraculous gifts.
For more information on Dee Dee's book, go to www.soulmakingroom.com
Check out other items in our HOME Made online store.