I grew up in the type of family that revered the ‘guest’. In our culture that says treat any guest in your home like God because that guest could be God. Any person that came to visit would be told to sit and get comfortable and all the kids, no matter how old, were called from their rooms and we’d all join in and give our guest our undivided attention. My mum would go to the kitchen and start making tea and warming food and looking for biscuits or something to offer our guest. It was unheard of for a visitor to not have something to eat and drink, whether they wanted to or not! lol
And likewise, when we went “visiting” we’d get the same treatment. You were welcomed graciously by your host and practically force fed the entire time you were there. My mother always lived by the philosophy of cooking extra because you never knew who would pop in. This type of treatment is what I’m used to and I’ve never questioned it, that’s just how things were.
But recently I’ve noticed a shift in this way of thinking. People now say things like ‘it’s my home, my guest will do what I want or leave’ of ‘if they don’t like it they’re not welcome. Now in certain instances I agree somewhat. If I have pets for example, if my guest doesn’t like dogs they have not right to complain about the dogs in my home, they should just suck it up. Or if I go and visit someone unexpectedly I shouldn’t take it for granted that they’ll welcome me in, they could be busy or sick and not want company.
However, these are the exceptions. If you invite me to your home and then proceed to watch something on TV instead of engage with me, that’s just rude. Don’t use the ‘it’s my home, my rules’ attitude because that’s not on. I’ve noticed this more and more. People couldn’t care less whether their guests are comfortable or happy. Surely common courtesy dictates that you at least pretend to be interested in the person sitting in your home? Or am I being too old fashioned.
Another thing that irks me, if you invite me to your house and then you aren’t home, what does that say about your respect for me? There’s nothing that irritates me more than that. Living in JHB means you need to prepare for any eventuality and having my son means preparing hours in advance for any trip out the door. Why should I go through all that just to wait for you?
And I’ve also seen people try to dissuade their visitors from staying for very long. I’ve heard things like “let’s not offer him something to drink, then maybe he’ll leave quickly” or “why should I even give him anything, he’s not important”. To say I was shocked was an understatement. If you don’t want someone in your home, don’t invite them in or pretend that you aren’t home or that you’re on your way out. Don’t be rude. Am I right?
It’s small thing like this that have caused society’s decline. This is selfish behaviour in my opinion and people need to change their way of thinking. By no means am I perfect, there’s just some things that I believe should be done differently and this is one of them.