by Kenneth Justice
~ “Why the hell would someone pay $5 for a cup of coffee?” That was a comment I overheard an older woman say to her friend after they asked the barista the price of a cup of coffee.
I hang out at a lot of cafés and the price of coffee varies from one to the next….but at one coffee house in particular; a small cup of coffee is $5 American (roughly 3.75 Euro’s)…..and if you want to add a cup of espresso to your order or a shot of syrup; your coffee at that particular café could quickly reach the $10 mark.
I’ve read a number of articles about the supposed ‘strange’ phenomenon of people buying high priced coffee in the midst of struggling with their finances and a bad economy; “People in the Western World are simply stupid to be wasting their money on high priced coffee; they should stay home and save their money” is what I hear some people say….
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a strong advocate for saving money. I’ve noticed that many parents are failing in their responsibility to teach their children to save money…….but; I totally understand why someone would buy an expensive cup of coffee.
You see, when you look at the general lifespan for a person in the Western World….its really not all that long. If you happen to be the average person you’ll live till your early 70’s and if you are blessed with good genetics you might make it till age 80 or 90……..but in the face of eternal time itself; 70 years doesn’t seem very long at all.
To live our life counting pennies like Ebenezer Scrooge can get very old; what’s the point of saving up a store house of gold and silver if we’re only going to die at the end of the day. Sometimes its important to get out of the house and spend a couple extra dollars on ourselves in order for us to enjoy living.
Too much of our lives often revolve around the negative. Lets be honest, if you turn on the 24 hour NEWS you’ll be overwhelmed with negative stories; shootings, natural disasters, political scandals, and more. And while its important that we don’t turn a blind eye to the problems that surround us; its vital that we don’t let the negative elements of the world weigh us down. We have to remember to live life to the fullest.
To compound the problem of the negative; many of us have certain relatives, friends, or co-workers that are constantly bringing negative energy to the conversation; they love to gossip, slander, or talk about subjects that bring us down…..many people love to talk about the negative.
Sometimes its important for us to get out of our houses and do the small things that we enjoy…even if it costs us a few extra dollars;
—) For some of us it is drinking a good cup of coffee at our favorite café
—) For some people it is ordering a glass of nice wine
—) For some people it is getting their nails done at a salon
—) For some people it is going out to the movie theater and seeing a film
Sure, we could do things that are free; we could go for a walk, watch a show on our television at home, invite a friend over for coffee, or paint our nails at home…..but sometimes we need to get out and spend that extra couple dollars on ourselves….and I don’t see anything wrong with doing so.
Yesterday a homeless person stopped me on the street and asked for ‘bus money’. This particular homeless person had forgotten that I had talked with him numerous times in the past and I knew very well that he wasn’t going to be taking the bus…..but I gave him the money anyways. Instantly he went into the smoke shop and bought a pack of cigarettes. While I’m definitely not going to promote smoking cigarettes (though I’m not going to bash it either)….I appreciated the fact that the homeless person simply wanted to do something he enjoyed. I can’t imagine how tough life must be for him…and if he wanted to spend a couple dollars to smoke a cigarette and take his mind of the negative elements of his life….that was fine by me.
There’s this story about Jesus in which a woman used expensive perfume to wash his feet; his followers attacked the woman and accused her of wasting the perfume which could have been sold to feed the hungry and homeless……Jesus responded by saying, “Look, its good that you care about the homeless, its important that we remember them and reach out to them….but sometimes its okay to spend a couple dollars on ourselves” (my paraphrase).
Even a man like Jesus who lived his every waking moment among the poor, lowly, homeless, and hungry…..understood the value of taking a few moments to ourselves. We can’t allow the problems of the world to so overwhelm us that we don’t enjoy living life itself….
Sometimes its the little things in life that we need to spend a few moments doing, like buying that expensive cup of coffee or glass of nice wine. sometimes its doing the little things in life that help to give us a boost of energy and fresh new perspective in our quest to reach out to others….sometimes its spending that time on ourselves that helps to renew us for all the tasks that lie ahead of us each day.
And that reminds me; I think I will get another cup of coffee now,
Categories: Culture & Society