Justice, and how the code of the samurai makes an epic code for hospitality

There’s nothing like a saga about a samurai’s honor to get the mental juices reflecting on (unexpectedly to me!) hospitality.
After watching The Last Samurai again, and becoming utterly more enthralled by it, I hungered to learn the ethos of the samurai warrior (also know as The Bushido Code). 
The full code is comprised of eight virtues, creating an integrity-rich and spiritual combination of disciplines to abide by: rectitude; courage; mercy; politeness; sincerity; honor; loyalty; and self-control.
Many virtues from the Bushido Code strike a cord, and compel strong principles for delivering hospitality. I look forward to exploring these in the coming days.
Rectitude or Justice:

According to the Samurai’s spiritual path and code of conduct, deciding the moral course and not wavering from that course is vital. It is this undeterred commitment to honest, moral reasoning that gives stature to the samurai’s day to day life.

Such an unwavering commitment makes this virtue a great ethos for delivering front of house hospitality, especially when it comes to in-person guests. So many details compete for attention when running a hospitality-based organization. In the administrative intensity, attention to the in-person guest can often get marginalized or become chronically distracted. What’s key is for the front of hospitality team to — unilaterally and reliably — prioritize the in-person guest over all other commitments or interruptions. It is the only way visiting guests will begin to trust the resourcefulness and sincerity of welcome in an organization.

Story of caution about this virtue and an organization’s culture:

A while ago, I was engaging an in-person guest at front hospitality for a large urban church. While attempting to be a resource to this visiting person, a colleague interrupted our discussion twice. The interruptions were vivid and distracting enough that the guest criticized my colleague (to me) once my colleague had departed. The guest felt undermined and not taken seriously. The next part of our exchange involved my apologies, and attempts to rebuild the guest’s interest in church programs.

It is critical that an organization’s entire culture is committed to all guests receiving prioritized, undivided attention. Otherwise delivering hospitality to visitors becomes at the very least, an exercise in depleting good will to guests.

 

In the coming days, I look forward to comparing more of the Bushido Code to other aspects of delivering hospitality, including courage and self-control.

Photo “Samurai John” by Jerome Olivier licensed under Creative Commons

 

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