Today is September 11, 2009. We all remember this date eight years ago, but today as I was listening to many of the memorials and speeches and talking with friends and family about it, I was reminded about how our lives can be forever changed by transformative events like the attacks of 9/11/01. And many of the changes are positive.
Big, and I mean really big, events and periods, especially those that we view as terrible at the time of their occurrence, have a way of causing us to reexamine what is important in our lives. Whether it be an illness or death of a friend or family member, a stock market crash and harsh recession, or watching the attack of our homeland on live television, we always end up taking stock. Taking stock of what we think is important: our jobs or careers, whatever. And then, surprisingly, many of us decide that we need to do something else. Behave differently. Be kinder. Do something more meaningful. Worry less about some things and more about others. And it is this taking stock that has brought many people into Innkeeping.
Why? I think it's because Innkeeping is about people. Service. Kindness. Restoration. Many of you who believe that you want your life to be about more than just "making a living" and, instead, want to make a difference in other people's lives while still making a living, have chosen (or are considering) Innkeeping as a profession. At The B&B Team we're glad you think this way, because we have the good fortune of working with people who, in our humble opinion, are somehow a little bit better than many, more elevated, sharing a higher purpose.
After the attacks of 9/11, innkeepers across the country found their business upended. An initial flood of cancellations in many cases lead to new bookings by folks needing to get out, get away, find some peace and security. And where did they turn for that sense of safety and togetherness? To small inns. These weary and frightened travelers looked to innkeepers for solace, even as those innkeepers themselves needed some solace of their own. But in the serving, the sharing, the caring for, the feeding and smiling for the benefit of others, innkeepers found themselves uplifted as well.
Community is an overused word in this era of social media, but the community of humanity remains an enduring precept, one which transformative and often tragic events make us appreciate all the more.