The Power of Hospitality: Lessons Learned from a Fellow Passenger

A chance encounter on a flight reveals the transformative impact of genuine hospitality

In a world often characterized by hurried interactions and impersonal encounters, a recent experience on a flight from Rome reminded me of the profound impact of genuine hospitality. Seated next to me was a fellow passenger named Mammar, whose small gestures of kindness and insistence on sharing his food taught me a valuable lesson about the power of hospitality. This encounter highlighted the stark contrast between the professional art of hospitality practiced by airline staff and the deeply ingrained cultural and religious tradition that guided Mammar’s actions.

Mammar’s Education in Hospitality

Mammar’s acts of hospitality were not merely polite gestures but were deeply rooted in his cultural tradition and faith. Unlike the airline staff who performed their duties efficiently, Mammar derived genuine pleasure from offering me food. His insistence on me accepting a second cookie demonstrated the importance he placed on this small act of kindness. Hospitality, for Mammar, was not a duty but an integral part of his identity.

Contrasting Professional Hospitality

While the airline staff provided satisfactory service, their approach lacked the personal touch and conviction that Mammar displayed. Their primary goal was to ensure a smooth and efficient flight experience, without deriving any pleasure from their interactions. In contrast, Mammar’s gestures were driven by a genuine belief in the power of hospitality, transcending mere duty.

The Kingdom of Hospitality

Luigi Giussani, in his book The Miracle of Hospitality, emphasizes that hospitality entails the forgiveness of differences. Mammar’s generosity was not conditioned upon shared religion, nationality, or language. His actions exemplified the true essence of hospitality, extending kindness and welcome to a stranger. Christians, too, are called to embrace this virtue, as exemplified by the biblical passage in Matthew 25:31.

Spreading Christ’s Love

As we navigate the coming weeks, it is essential that we embrace the practice of hospitality. Whether it is welcoming strangers, offering our time and possessions to those in need, or simply listening to someone’s problems, these simple gestures have the power to spread Christ’s love and build his kingdom. Mammar’s unwavering conviction and insistence serve as a reminder of the transformative potential of these acts of kindness.

The Transformational Power of Hospitality

In a society often marked by division and indifference, genuine acts of hospitality have the potential to transform the world. Mammar’s small gestures, carried out with love and conviction, left a lasting impact on my perspective. They reminded me that it is not the size of the gesture that matters, but the love and conviction with which it is carried out. These simple acts have the power to bridge divides, foster understanding, and create a more compassionate society.


The encounter with Mammar on that flight from Rome served as a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of genuine hospitality. His acts of kindness, rooted in his cultural and religious identity, stood in stark contrast to the impersonal approach often seen in professional hospitality. As we strive to spread Christ’s love and build his kingdom, let us embrace the conviction and insistence displayed by Mammar, knowing that even the smallest acts of hospitality have the potential to change lives and transform our world.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *