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paper1 odyssey - "An Ethical Principle of Hospitality HE217...

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“An Ethical Principle of Hospitality” HE217 / Section 1001 LT Waggoner 03 October 2005
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HE217 / Section 1001 LT Waggoner 03 October 2005 “An Ethical Principle of Hospitality” In our modern-day society , we are told as children not to talk to strangers and to keep unfamiliar people away from our valued personal belongings . Rarely do we feel confident enough to reach out for help unless the direst of situations occur , such as a breakdown on the highway or if a loved one is in danger . Phrases such as “Southern hospitality” exist only in certain regions , but on the whole the populace understands a life of hospitality as a more comfortable , more desirable way to live . It is common sense that a society whose people look out for and take care of each other will function better , run more smoothly , and its people will be at an advantage . Whether it be one’s next door neighbor , a total stranger , or perhaps even a god , all can contribute to making a better society in which people in need are taken care of . In the Homeric epic , The Odyssey , Homer stressed an ethical principle of hospitality that guided honorable members of society and still serves today as a strong moral standard . From the beginning of the epic poem , Telemachus received assistance from the gods , particularly Athena . The goddess made sure that Telemachus was prepared for a safe and successful journey to learn about his father’s whereabouts . By watching out for the son of Odysseus , Athena showed favor to the kin of a respected man and she also set a standard of hospitality that would be upheld by ethical citizens throughout the poem . In book two , she recruited sailors for the son’s voyage and assured him that his passage would be rewarding: "If you are made of the same stuff as your father you will
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HE217 / Section 1001 LT Waggoner 03 October 2005 be neither fool nor coward henceforward…if , then , you take after him , your voyage will not be fruitless . ” ( The Odyssey , Book II , 302-304) The beginning of Telemachus’s journey was made significantly less difficult by Athena , whose acts benefited men of honor , as Odysseus had been known to be before his journey .
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