By Kenneth Justice
“Everywhere I go I see injustice” he said
~ In just a few hours I’ll be traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota and the next stop on my Drinking in the Culture Tour. A coffee house tour that has been my excuse to get out into the world and learn more about different culture throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
One of the unique elements of my traveling this year is that I haven’t been making reservations or sticking to strict plans on any of my trips; I’ve been merely showing up to each city and seeing where the cards might lie.
Of course, going on so many trips without any reservations has meant that I never really know what to expect; I’ve stayed on the sofas of strangers that I met along my journey, I’ve hung out with homeless people at coffee shops and listened to their stories, and now this weekend in Minnesota the only thing I know for sure is that in the morning I will be at Bull Run Coffee in the morning and Kopplins Coffee in the afternoon.
J.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost”
I identify quite a bit with that quote because even though there is a sense in which I’m wandering around the Western World; I’ve never felt lost. What began as a simple idea, ‘visit 100 coffee shops in as many states and countries this year as possible’ has become something so much more. Through my many conversations with readers and fellow bloggers that I’ve met along my journey; I’ve come to realize that the connections we’ve made via the Internet are actually much deeper than I initially understood. The communities that each of my fellow bloggers have developed on their own websites and blogs has the potential for as much depth and connection as they desire.
It also helps that the coffee house culture from city-to-city is very welcoming to visitors. Even in places where I didn’t meet with any readers or bloggers, I’ve always met dozens of people hanging out at the coffee houses; there is something about a coffee house that encourages conversation among strangers.
We live in a time when massive amounts of people all across the Western World feel lonely. Depression and other mood disorders are on the rise and the psychological community has been totally inept and powerless in treating and addressing the epidemic. Millions, perhaps billions of dollars are spent every year on research studies and in treating loneliness and depression; yet all that the PhD psychologists and researchers are really accomplishing is obtaining nice little salaries for themselves thanks to Government Grants and Universities paychecks.
Yesterday on the Ranting Crow blog my dear friend penned an excellent question,
“It is asking a question that makes us think. But research costs money.
Who gains, from knowing poverty exist?
Who do you think gains the most. Those in poverty or the researchers. Is there anything gained at all”
Think about it. Every day thousands upon thousands of dollars are awarded to Universities and researchers to ‘study’ poverty; yet is that money really being put in the right place? At what point in Western Society are we going to stop giving millions of dollars to white collar University students to ‘study’ problems; and instead begin actually fixing the problems we see all around us?
The simple fact of the matter is that whether we are talking about the government level of society or the academic level; the white collar men and women who have had a strangle hold on the way our society functions are stubborn people. They are resistant to change. They are content with receiving their nice little pay checks and living in a world of injustice, hypocrisy and nepotism.
—-) If you are religious then you know that with every New Year that passes us many of your religious freedoms are being taken away
—-) If you are in the middle class than you know that the middle class is shrinking
—-) If you are not geared toward the academic world then you know that the intellectual elites simply don’t value you or your opinion about life and culture
At one of my coffee house stops an older man said to me, “Everywhere I go I see injustice”. I empathized with what he said quite a bit. And it’s not merely one side of the equation that is guilty of injustice. Whether you are liberal or conservative, and whether you live in North America or Europe; the politicians on both sides of the aisle (both conservative and liberal) are simply making a mess of things. They are inept and uncaring towards the very real problems that everyday people face in their lives.
If you made it this far through my article this morning thank you, I’ve stepped away for just a moment from my normal coffee house character studies to share a few thoughts that have been bugging me for some time. Sadly, I don’t have all the answers, perhaps you know where were supposed to go from here……..for now, I’m just going to show up in Minnesota and I’m excited to see what lies ahead.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning, Kenneth
If you live in or near the Twin Cities I’d love to have coffee with you this weekend! Email me or simply stop by one of the coffee houses I will be visiting.
Categories: Culture & Society