So I was watching “Hotel Hell” last night and I clearly saw how the subject of last night’s episode was a microcosm of society in general. First, let me generally tell you a bit about the episode.
In last night’s episode Ramsay goes to the Keating Hotel in San Diego. The hotel is run by a spoiled owner, whose every wish is the staff’s command. The hotel is his vision down to the very details and the staff are only there to implement that vision. That wouldn’t be that bad if his vision was any good, but it wasn’t. Not only was his vision bad, but he kept changing it whenever he found a good idea elsewhere. The staff became overburdened with his many constantly changing requests. Example? The Executive Chef who collapsed on the episode, probably due to the stress of working at the hotel. I can’t blame him for collapsing either; the menu was four pages long and had way too many items on it, but the owner happily kept adding more items. Prepping for that large variety of meals everyday must have been a nightmare so the chef was destined to lose it. On top of all this, because of his spoiled ways the owner didn’t listen to any of his staff’s suggestions to improve the hotel, which they suggested out of their direct experience running the hotel, which the owner cannot claim to have, and the whole establishment suffered as a result, guests included.
So, in comes Ramsay to the rescue. He puts the owner in his place, giving the staff the power to run the hotel using their skills and first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day operations. This reinvigorates the staff and they seem to be passionate about their work again. Ramsay also changes the look of the hotel to create a more welcoming feel for the guests, which is what the hotel should feel like first and foremost.
Now, this is where things got interesting for me. I realized that what Ramsay did for the hotel is what we need to do for our society and what I need to do for my own life.
First, whenever Ramsay looks to improve a place, whether it is a restaurant or a hotel, he looks to see what the establishment is trying to express. He sees what the place wants to be and what it wants to express to its clients. Second, he looks to see what aspects of its operation directly contradict what it wants to express. These he looks to change or get rid of altogether. By cutting out the unnecessary crap out of the operations, he looks to create a focus in the staff of the establishment so that they know what they are helping the establishment express. He also makes sure that the staff realizes that the target of their expression is the client, first and foremost. Without the client the place wouldn’t exist, so all expression is directed at the client. The message is one of giving to the client rather than getting what the client will give back, because it is taken for granted that the client will give what the hotel is looking for (money) if the giving part (the service) is taken care of properly. Through this focus Ramsay creates a sense of passion within the staff that is readily seen during and after his visit.
This is exactly the type of restructuring society needs to do for itself. We need to take a look at what our society, and what we also want to express, since society is made up of us all. Joy, love, abundance, passion and peace come to mind, among others. Second, we need to cut out what contradicts that desired expression. This automatically rules out the expression of violence, hatred, hostility, resentment, lack, depression and other negative expressions. I believe one challenge with this first point is that most people don’t even know what our society is trying to express, so they get caught up in contradictory actions. If we don’t know what we or what society wants to express, how can we focus on that expression and help society express it?
This is the main reason many people are living lives that are expressing the opposite of what they or what society wants to express. The other reason people are expressing the opposite of they want is that our society is filled with yes-men. Just like on this episode of Hotel Hell where the staff only did what the overbearing owner wanted, the members of our society only do what the “owners” of society want them to do, even if it runs contradictory to the desired expression of society. Environmental destruction, war, poverty, disease and other negative outcomes are a direct result of these yes-men.
Now, just like when Ramsay makes sure the staff realizes that the client is the focus of the expression and that the focus is giving to the client rather than receiving what the client gives back, society must focus on who it wishes to express its desired expression to. We must realize that for us know ourselves as joyful, loving, abundant, passionate, peaceful and all the rest of the positive expressions, we must express these aspects to one another. The target for this expression is society itself. Where the hotel can only express what it is when it serves its clients, society can only express what it is by serving other members within it and the environment it lives in. Once again, the focus is on giving, not receiving. If everyone expressed love, joy, peace, and abundance to one another, there would be no need to receive because society is all self-contained.
This kind of thinking can be applied to our own individual lives as well, because we are microcosms of society and because we are similar to the owner of the hotel, but our form of expression may differ. The owner of the hotel and his staff use the hotel to express themselves, sharing peace, abundance, comfort, love and gratitude with their clients. We may use another form of expression, but the form doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that the expression is representative of our passion, otherwise the expression would contradict what we said are our desired expressions.
Taking this a step further, all of life is an expression and so we are constantly expressing to others we interact with. This means it should be our goal to express our desired expression through our interactions with others at all times, giving everything and not expecting anything in return. We need to realize that we can only be who we wish to be by expressing who we are to others, not by keeping everything to ourselves. We also need to cut out all that doesn’t belong to our desired expression and create a focus and passion for our desired expression. This will be our reason for being: to express to others, giving to others what we ourselves want to experience.
We can each be the Gordon Ramsay in the episodes of our lives. We can take a look at our lives and transform them so that we express what we desire and help create a change within society at large.
Life lessons in an episode of “Hotel Hell”. How weird is that?