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The Farmer Triad of Virtues: Hospitality

I hope I have the grammar right here, at last. - Seems so.

It´s a weird feeling of inadequacy – rather than Hospitality I want to talk about its dark sides. These dark sides are Exploitation and Self-exploitation, respectively, and they are inextricably bound to each other.

Every self-help books aficionado has heard about Women Who Love Too Much. Unsurprisingly, I´ve been one too. Lead by the quaint idea that since I am the more virtuous one, thus morally superior, I´ve been to various abusive relationships, which left me broken into pieces. In times of my adolescence, I sincerely believed in martyrdom and giving the loved person everything, thus changing him by own example... and scoring points for Heaven. The “change by own example” strategy is a plausible one, save that I wasn´t actually giving a good example to anybody.

A good comparison comes from trade: if you continuously offer something for free or below the fabrication price, somebody gets exploited. The Third World workers, perhaps, so that your chain store might come up with the dumping prices. The conditions of Chinese factories are beyond the imagination of a Westerner who shops in these discount chains.
Nothing is cheaper than a certain basic cost, lest there´s some exploitation going on. I order to prevent exploitation, we must set that basic price and stand firm by it.

The very idea behind Fair Trade – exactly. Also, my core understanding of Hospitality.
We´ve got fairly-traded coffee, tea, chocolate, but I tell you something: we need more fairly-traded people! The women in abusive relationship, like I was, are an obvious example of an unfairly low price people set themselves; other is a completely separate and tedious topic of our treatment of Pagan Elders.

Unlike Third World factory workers, we live in a democratic society which gives even the last of us a reasonable amount of freedom of choice. As women or Pagan Elders, we can always choose to stop the unfair trade, by setting a fair price to our work and to our time. It´s a crucial concept: how can we possibly give a true sacrifice, if we have no idea about the price it has to us?

We do elaborate sacrifice in our rituals with a lot of attention focused on the value of the offering, which needn´t to be material. Yet, in our daily lives, we are selling below the price the most precious gifts we have from the Creators: our souls, our health, our dignity.

Hospitality for me begins with setting the basic value. Only then can we strive for a balance between giving and receiving.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 2nd, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
You choose the most fascinating juxtapositions of concepts. ;-)

This one sounds more like "justice" than hospitality though. As in Aristotle's definition of justice: giving each what it is due to them.

Some of the material here might fit in an essay on Integrity.

If you're wondering about grammar, I couldn't find anything objectionable except the last sentence, which should read: "Only then *can* we strive..."
Oct. 2nd, 2008 10:31 am (UTC)
My essay on Integrity deals with completely different stuff, I guess, also in an unusual way...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )