This is a recovered post from a botched website transfer in 2014. It was originally written and published on 04/27/2013.
Xenodochial? What does that mean? “Friendly to strangers.”
I also learned it’s used in the techno world in place of user-friendly. The word comes from the Greek xenodoch, which translates to “strangers’ banquet.”
That translation immediately brought my Garmy, known by untold numbers of people as Auntie Bea, to mind.
Garmy’s mother, my Nana, who I didn’t get to meet in person, always set an extra place at her crowded table, just in case a stranger – a hobo or some other wanderer or passerby – was in need of a meal.
Hers was not a rich family, but they were extremely wealthy and unfailingly generous with what they had.
Garmy embodied Nana’s friendliness with similar gestures. She was always prepared to help anyone in need, whether they were family, friend, or stranger. She, like Nana, was the epitome of xenodochial.
It’s an easy thing to be xenodochial. Off the top of my head:
???? opening a door
???? saying “thank you”
???? paying for a toll or coffee
???? transferring a shopping cart to its outdoor stall to free up a parking space
???? retrieving a dropped pen or coin
???? offering a smile
All easy, and all capable of brightening a stranger’s life.
Who in your life is, or was, xenodochial? If it’s you, give yourself a pat on the back, and carry on.