Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Hospitality in Religion and Healthcare

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Hospitality has become big business in the travel industry and the trend is appearing in the fields of religion and healthcare. Granted, the business of hospitality exposes the fact that we are hospitable when we are getting paid money. Not exactly heartwarming, but it’s a mark better than inhospitable conditions. Moreover, we can still figure out what hospitality is all about.

Hospitality is not a new concept by any means. We read in I Peter, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” We also detect the instruction of a friendly and generous nature in the Hippocratic Oath, “In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients.”

But quite often, human circumstances, beliefs, and cultures make it difficult to be genuinely hospitable. Doctors in the Public Insight Network said, “They need more time—time to talk with patients, time to think through difficult diagnoses, time to analyze data showing whether patients are doing better under their care—and fair compensation for that time.” This need will be met only when the mind makes room for new ideas on how to achieve the goal. And, room is made when old ideas are removed.

A few old ideas being unloaded are the standard notions that religions and healthcare are supported by the fear of death or the quest to fight death. There are signs of religions and healthcare shifting to a more hospitable outlook of learning to focus on and live a meaningful life. We are admitting that the quest to prolong mortality is desolate. The Los Angeles Times reported February 5, 2013, “New research finds that the proportion of Medicare patients dying in hospice care nearly doubled from 22% in 2000 to 42% in 2009, an apparent bow to patients’ overwhelming preference for more peaceful passings free of heroic measures.”

Humanity is not only bypassing aggressive healthcare treatments that extend a mortal life but also ducking the hard-hitting dogma in religions that provoke behavior out of fear of death rather than a love of love and truth. Within the last century, we’ve seen the pursuit of spiritualty bust out of inhospitable religious customs and healthcare strategies. We read in 21st Century Science and Health, “One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity.”



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