“Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead.” Charles M. Schwab
Are you a good hostess even with people who are not your friends? Are you happy with your life? What creates this happiness in your life?
(I’m very grateful to Randy for offering this topic because there are few words starting with “x” that inspire positive ideas. Most are about things. Next week’s topic may also be a challenge, but if you have a word starting with “Y” please leave it under Comment. Thanks to you all!)
Xenial is not a word I’ve ever noticed. After teaching English for many years, it is unusual for me to find a word that I don’t know. It seemed to originate with the Greeks referring to being friendly or hospitable to persons from different cities. Now it primarily refers to the friendliness between a host and guest.
The Pandemic Makes Being Xenial More Difficult
Unfortunately, during the pandemic, many of us haven’t been hosts or guests very often. Fortunately, the vaccine has made it possible for vaccinated families and friends to visit safely to some extent. But the current situation has also created some difficulty for those whose families have different views about being vaccinated.
One of our biggest challenges is how to be xenial to those who are not from a different city but to those who threaten our health by not being vaccinated. Being safe and hospitable often conflict when we have to tell a friend not to visit until vaccinated.
Being Xenial Is The Best Way To Relate
Generally, being xenial is the most positive way to treat others when being with them is not a danger. When we don’t know someone well, it is a good idea to treat them pleasantly and kindly like we do with our friends. The energy that we spread through our lives creates who we are, not only affecting others, but affecting how we feel as well. When we focus on the positive, we are more likely to feel good.
In college when I lived in the dorm, my roommate and I had little in common, yet we treated each other xenially. We got along well because we found amicable ways to use the shower we shared and agreed when to get quiet and go to sleep.
In contrast, when I first discovered I couldn’t eat gluten and dairy, I often interacted with people who didn’t quite believe my situation because they had never heard of it. One person insisted I was just doing that to get attention.
However, when I visited a friend who was diabetic and had to eat four times a day, she was very sympathetic and made sure I had the food I needed. She was very xenial around this issue. I have no doubt she had experienced a few unpleasant experiences in relation to her food limitations.
We All Appreciate Kindness
A welcoming attitude always makes a difference. When we apply for a job and are welcomed pleasantly, we are more likely to want to work for that company than when we are treated as if the interviewer hardly has time to talk with us. We want to work in hospitable places so that we can look forward to going to work each day.
In order to be kind and friendly, as Schwab suggests, we have to feel good about ourselves. Meditation, for example, can help calm us when we need to let go of anger or negative feelings to make room for positive thoughts that will help us and those around us. Taking care of our inner selves allows us to be more positive with others.
If we treat co-workers, friends, and family members kindly, they are more likely to return that pleasantness. “What goes around, comes around” is true. Having a xenial attitude toward others is the best way to live.
© 2021 Georganne Spruce
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