This is not a cliché.

June 2012

01 June 2012

Stand up for my rights too. Signed...Desperate Nature

A line or two about our trade and then a revelation or two to follow. I like playing the host. We as hoteliers are lucky folk indeed. Our profession is full of variety. We had the privilege of learning all from our parents – they taught us how to overcome difficulties and, in much the same way as Albert Einstein preached, to treat difficult moments as an opportunity to excell. Mother and Father of all invention indeed, ours impressed upon us the need to pass time with our clients, to get to know them and in this way almost to anticipate their requests and to thus satisfy their desires. What am I trying to lead on to? ...
I also like playing the host because I associate the work I do with a style of life and a positive commitment to lifes’ways.
Well, in a subtle and compelling way, they educated us to listen in an active and receptive way and to make the most of the knowledge we were able to accumulate. It was Socrates who highlighted the virtue of knowledge as a good for humanity and ignorance as an evil. ‘Knowledge’ and its princely cousin ‘Culture’ should be our guiding virtues and not the ever-present and overused term of today, ‘Growth’.
Is it really possible to think that economic growth can exist in some sort of vaccum without a consideration of cultural growth? Forbid the thought but if it is so we risk some monstrous consumer toxic dependence. Yes, I recognise that growth is an individual and integral human element, but it is culture which gives us a collective force, one fit to sown for a better tomorrow. This all begs the question of ‘what is progress’? Would we wish that it were 100 hundred things which improve and 99 which deteriorate? Perhaps it is for some but one thing is for sure – without any cultural input we will not even get close to a positive balance, even of one! No food for creative thought means no growth and to decline in a cultural manner means a decine in human and in human relationship terms.
I also like playing the host because I associate the work I do with a style of life and a positive commitment to lifes’ways: an informed existence if you will, respectful of ethnical considerations, and made up of many pleasantries in terms of smiles and consideration and general care and interest. And then there are of course the dedicated colleagues with whom I work and who add so much to our work. Perhaps it is with them that I find a shared interpretation of a rich culture, in that we together are able to transmit to our guest the appreciation we have for he or she, the traveller of our time, and to give vent to that marvellous dialogue that can emerge betwen hospès/hostìs –visitor/host -, and to draw energy, one from the other, and for the cultural exchange to truly enrichen our time and our outlook. At times, hit with another devasting news item, I wonder why in politics, in economics, in the world of high finance, we cannot do likwise. Why is it that there are those who still think that private indulgement can lead to public good? Wouldn’t it be an idea to invest more in the ‘production’ of ideas, in the capacity to renew something or some things fundamental in nature. Don’t we know, haven’t we learned that the esential raw material of innovation is Culture itself!? In Italy we tend to consider it a bit of a dead weight to drag around! How can we possibly think of renewal strategies, re-establish something of pride, even rethink what we are about, overcome preconceptions, if we do not go down the Cultural road? I ask the pungent qustion – can a country that does not have an appreciation of the social and economic role that Culture has to play, consider itself a civil entity? Do we really believe that to come out of the crisis that austerity measures, increased sales of cars, and greater rates of construction will suffice? Apart from the cutural consideration we need to add the disregard for the environment.: is it only we confirmed environmentalists who hear the howls of pain seemingly at times coming from the very core of the Earth? Are we so convinced that the rights of mankind can be truly protected without taking into account the rights of Nature? We men who in a blind, dumb fashion take advantage of all will be called to account and will need to rethink, to reduce output,recycle and reuse. But this will not suffice for more will need to be and should be done. We need in the constitutions throughout the world to provide for the Rights of Nature. There are those who are working in this regard - see
And to tell you more I tell you that I like playing host because I love the winds of culture and their manifestations. I am anxious to receive so I can give, for I have learned that only in receiving can we hope to create and give. Alpine Culture means respect for the mountains and thirst from education. Hermann Göring, great personification of Evil, said “Education is a dangerous thing. Every cultured person is a future enemy.”. We too, hosts, even if sometimes deprived of Culture, are enemies of all the Görings of our times, and we shall continue to work serenely, even in a period such as the present one when things are not exacly easy. We will not resort to false documentation to make out that room bookings are increasing, not resort to some cosmetic trend or other merely because it is ‘in’ at this moment in time, but we shall carry on working, respecting and observing that which is right, and we naturally hold in high esteem Beauty and Truth. Respect is good for our guests and it is good for us for we are all of one and all. This for us is the most important of things, and certainly more important than economic growth.
Love has many faces and we recognise it in our parents, in our landscape and also in the work we do. These are all essential to our harmony, to our balance, and are an expression of happiness for us. Let’s be determined to try, to try and merit the Culture which is seeking us out.