Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I had to reach for today's "x" entry in the Z to A in May Blogging Challenge. Xenodochial, a word I've never heard in a sentence, means someone who is hospitable or kind to strangers.

The definition for xenodochial does not include "tolerance," but in my mind tolerance is what allows a person to be kind to others, among other personality traits. I think American society as a whole was more xenodochial in times past, when news reports weren't as prevalent about the strange and often criminal behaviors of some people.

Today it seems safer to be at least wary of people you don't know. While I do consider my safety, it's just part of my nature to smile at and initiate conversations with others. Some circumstances allow this in perfect safety, such as in public places, other circumstances such as one-on-one meet-ups offer greater safety risks.

On a positive note, a couple in Oklahoma whose home and possessions were destroyed by a tornado earlier this spring reported that people they had never met pitched in to help them for weeks after the devastation. Those helping folks were most definitely xenodochial.


  1. The kindness of mankind and ability to help is amazing! Thank you for a new word :)

  2. @Claudia: Thank you for dropping by. I agree; I think there is more kindness in the world than can often be realized.