Seniors: Practicing the Quality of Hospitality

Mar 17th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Behaviors differ among the aging.  Some persons seem to carry a chip on their shoulder, daring anyone to knock it off.  Others portray a more humble and less arrogant attitude.  Learning is a life long experience.  Those who challenge it, as if they have already come to a full knowledge about everything, are not very pleasant companions.

In groups where seniors gather, and there are a wide variety of such opportunities, there seems to be the same phenomenon as among adolescents.  Someone is always pushing for the front of the line, trying to prove how much he/she knows, attempting to impress the balance of the group with his /her peculiar and particular skills.  Little  does he/she realize that such show off behavior is really a turn off. 

Seniors do best when they adopt the qualities of humility, grace, and a modicum of wisdom.  They do best when asked for their counsel, instead of imposing it upon a group uninvited.  Pushiness is never an attractive quality.  It may intimidate, but it does not instruct or teach or give good example. however, some persons just seem to need the upper hand at getting (and keeping) the attention of a crowd.  Being recognized as “most popular boy or girl” is no longer a contest for seniors.  It may be for individuals, whose need is to have the spotlight turned on them, but it isn’t for persons who have learned that polite group behavior often  involves keeping your mouth shut and your opinions to yourself. 

A balance of partcipation and  appropriate silent observation is to be desired.  I find a certain folly in groups, who when so interested in their own point of view, they discourage others from expressing theirs.  Another malady that seems to strike at the heart of groups is the self centered focus on those who “belong.”  Persons who are new to the group draw little attention or welcome.  I guess that would take away from the time of the “significant” others who must be about exalting themselves.  Groups would do well to place a mirror in their meeting rooms, allowing members to observe their behavior.  It is no wonder that guests often refuse to return, when they have had no welcome, greeting, or encouragement for their presence. 

Of course, for the timid and shy the method of ignoring their presence works well for them.  They neither have to take responsibility for being included nor initiative for calling attention to their presence. Groups who extend an invitation through public means for others to join them, but fail to offer individual welcome show little genuine hospitality.  Fraternal groups, church organizations, all kinds of specialty tribes  seem to forget that their purpose is connected to their ability to be welcoming.  Lacking that, they might as well close off membership to an exclusive number and discontinue any advertised “welcome.”



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