CoffeeBy loreen sarmiento
Cebu Daily News
Four short sentences yet potent enough to give us a happy and peaceful life. But why do we continue to find life difficult?
An author once wrote a story about a group of alumni, already with established careers, who decided to visit their old professor. They were ushered into the living room and before long, the conversation veered to their lives and how hard and stressful it has become. Amidst the complaints thrown around in the group, the old professor brought in coffee from the kitchen.
On the table he also placed an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal. Some were plain-looking, others expensive and exquisite. The professor told them to help themselves to coffee.
When everyone had a cup in their hands, he told them to look around. “If you noticed,” he said, “all the nice looking, expensive cups have been taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it’s normal for you to want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.”
He pointed out that the cup didn’t really add quality to the coffee they were drinking. It’s just more expensive and sometimes hides what’s really being drunk.
I totally agree. All they wanted was coffee, not the cup. But consciously, we tend to grab the expensive cups and then we look around to see what cups the others got. So if another person got a better-looking cup, you get affected and ask why you didn’t you it. Isn’t this what stress is all about? When we start to focus only on the best things to acquire for ourselves or work so hard for things that will make us better than others, then our problems begin.
These are more essential parts of life that we should work on and work for – the coffee, not the expensive cups.
That’s the title of the author’s piece: Life is the Coffee. How I wish this writer had a name but he wrote this anonymously. I’d d like to thank him for his simple message that whatever we possess or not possess – job, fame, or money is not the coffee. They are just the cups, the tools that hold and contain LIFE.
The cup doesn’t define us or the quality of our life. If you live in a shanty, does that mean you’re a dirty person? If you walk around with a Gucci bag or drive a Jaguar, do people have to admire you more than they would a farmer?
Sometimes, we concentrate on the cup and barely enjoy the coffee. We are so busy trying to impress people, show off what we have, fight over inherited land, or strive to get the highest promotion at work that we forget to spend time with our families, to be mindful of others’ feelings, or notice our health.
The author emphatically wrote: “Savor the coffee not the cup! The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything!”
One Christmas Day, I purposely went out and gave spaghetti, ham, bread and juice to people I saw on the street. While everyone else was asleep after partying, this street sweeper was cleaning the road of garbage strewn around. He was surprised when I handed him the goodies but I told him I admired what he was doing for the public.
I tell you I had more respect for this man than a businessman who flaunts his wealth and doesn’t pay his workers the right salary.
Although Forrest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” I believe that we should know what kind of chocolate to go after.
LIFE is about knowing the right chocolate to get not how many boxes of chocolate we should have.
LIFE is not about getting the best looking cup. It is enjoying the drink that is in the cup.
Stop racing to possess more in life. Stop envying what others have that you don’t. Stop pleasing others at the expense of your dignity. Don’t keep on running. Slow down and enjoy what you have, too.
“The richest person is not the one who has the most but the one who needs the least.” So why do we find it hard to live life? Because we forget to:
These are the essentials that will make us happy and sleep peacefully.
Tags: bible teachings