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The ethics of invitation

Posted December. 26, 2018 07:37,   

Updated December. 26, 2018 07:37

한국어

Many people looked up to him and they wanted to invite him over for a dinner and listen to his words. But not many could actually do it. People who were ill off could not dare to invite him over to their house. It was the well-off who could have the honor of inviting him.

One day, the man advised the host to change the guests he invites to his house due to the following reasons. When you invite your friends, siblings, or wealthy neighbors, they will reciprocate someday. This act of reciprocating invitations can be considered reciprocal economics. But in order to be happy, one should be free from the act of reciprocation. Invite those who are disabled, ill, or poor. They cannot afford to reciprocate your invitation. But you will become happy because they cannot reciprocate. This was the paradox and ethics of hospitality the man talked about. What the man meant to say was that you can find true happiness from showing hospitality to the disadvantaged.

Without much rhetoric, his words got to the root of the matter. This is why Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky read the New Testament over and over again during his four-year time in a Siberian labor camp, underlining the important phrases that reflected his words and actions. “The Idiot” and “The Brothers Karamazov” were the result of reasoning Jesus Christ’s words. No matter how great philosophers such as Kant, Levinas, and Derrida talked about hospitality in their metaphysical language, their philosophy was a mere footnote of the ethics of hospitality preached by Jesus Christ.

It has been almost 2,000 years since Jesus Christ died on the cross but his words have not lost their validity. There are still marginalized people, who are not invited to a dinner party, in our society now and then. Christmas is the day when we celebrate the birth of the man, who led a life for the disadvantaged. Merry Christmas!