Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Southern Hospitality

I am still not used to waitresses and cashiers calling me “hun”, sweetie”, and “darlin.” Being a Yankee I am not used to sweetness. If the cashier said, “here’s your change” you felt like you had a conversation. There just wasn’t small talk or sweet nick names. First, in the North that would be deemed as sexist and politically incorrect. Second, it’s too familiar with a stranger.

Northerners are considered rude. A head nod is as good as a handshake and a “how y’all doin?” in the South. Someone from New York or New England may not sugar coat their speech or say sweet things to your face BUT they will be blunt and brutally honest. You know where you stand with them. I have a hard time with someone who is polite and sweet to your face but then buries the knife in your back when you’re not looking.

This happens even in the household of faith … The Church.

Sweet pleasantries, God bless you’s being invoked, and the always ready answer: I’m praying for you. You ask, “what’s wrong with that?” Nothing IF it’s genuine!

Do you really desire God’s blessing on the person you just said it to? When they are blessed are you glad or jealous?

Do you fuss over and hug and welcome people to services you whisper about as they walk away?

Have you REALLY prayed for that person?

Like southern hospitality becomes a part of the culture and way of life … Christian pleasantries do as well. The problem is that it can come across phoney and fake. This not meant to knock southern hospitality or defend northern hostility.

It should serve as an admonition for us treat people with respect and be genuinely concerned. Not because it’s our tradition … but because of who we really are.

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