Take This Cup.

Let me tell you a little bit about how my mind works.  And maybe…just maybe…you can relate?

You see, I quite often get caught up in issues I’m having like I shared in my last post.  And one thing I’m trying to grow in is the ability to set those things aside and identify all that’s going right in my life.  But my mind doesn’t work that way.  My mind doesn’t gravitate toward good things; it grasps at bad things.  If you want to get enneagramy with it…I’m a 4.  A four is described as “the individualist; the sensitive introspective type; dramatic; expressive; self-absorbed”.  That’s enough of that.  That description is a wonderful example though!  I don’t move toward good tangible things, I sit on hard emotional things (that introspection though).  And for me, I believe the “self-absorbed” part refers more directly to my ability to shut out all the sunshine and rainbows and focus on the one tiny cloud in my emotional sky.  It might not be a very big cloud…but it’s there and that’s enough for me to fixate on and ruin a whole day.

All that just to say this: I’m having to work really hard lately to find good things.  And I don’t win every day, but sometimes I do.  And I don’t find them every time…sometimes they find me.

Like this video.

I work at a coffee shop.  In all honesty, you probably just experienced some emotion akin to, “that’s fine for her for now“.  And it is…but this is not a for now experience to me.  Coffee is seen as a black cup of morning.  That is true of it.  However, there is SO MUCH MORE to coffee than just waking up and cream with sugar.

Like this video.

I sought out my job at the coffee shop where I’m working.  And recently, I traced it back to a book I read.  This book was written by the owner of Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company, Jonathan David Golden.  Land of a Thousand Hills sources almost exclusively from Rwanda and exists to bring people forgiveness.  I’m sorry, I meant reconciliation.  No.  Wrong…to bring people forgiveness.

“Maggie, I thought they brought people coffee?”

Don’t interrupt me.

I believe a lot of this is said more elegantly in the video than I could ever say it (and in full honesty, I think you should read Jonathan David Golden’s book Be You.  Do Good.).  So here’s the deal, I needed a good thing for today.

Like this video.

Most people see a barista or a cup of coffee or mug and think, “Great.  Caffeine!”, and that’s the end of their thought process.  Something needs to change that thinking though. Your local barista (surprise!) is a human being.  They are working a shift while working through emotions, back pain, grief, sick co-workers, rude customers, and they are doing it all while being treated as someone who provides a service and not someone who deals in hospitality, aesthetics, and a nuanced beverage created through tiers upon tiers of people and processes.  Your coffee is that nuanced beverage.  It has gone through a growing process at the farmer’s hand, a shipping process at the importer’s hand, a roasting process at the roaster’s hand, a tasting process at the expert’s hand, and a brewing process at that barista’s hand.  Your mug is a vessel for coffee.  I’m sorry, I meant forgiveness.  No…reconciliation.  Actually…all that and so much more.  We need more ways for people to understand the love that goes into a good cup of coffee and the forgiveness can happen on a farm.

Like this video.

I hope you were amazed and shocked and blessed.  I hope you cried a little bit.  I know I did.  I hope you will go check out “Land of a Thousand Hills” and buy some reconciliation coffee.  I hope you will go check out Summit Coffee Company where I work and buy some direct trade coffee.  This coffee comes not just from a farm where workers are paid well.  This coffee comes from Jairo.

28099-jairo-quiniones-web

Jairo is the one in the middle.  And when you buy Summit’s “Jairo Quinones” coffee or their “Finca Nueva Zelandia“, you are buying coffee grown on Jairo’s farm.

Coffee is more than liquid life.  Coffee is people.  Coffee is blood.  Coffee is forgiveness.

So take this cup, drink, and remember the people who were involved in it getting to your cup in the first place.  And if that makes you want to be a better person, or even makes you cry a little bit…

Let it be.

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