Life Happens Over Coffee

Coffee and coffee houses have become such and incredible phenomenon. It’s in a lot of ways hard to fathom life before grande skinny vanilla lattes, overstuffed leather chairs and free wi-fi.  We have become a culture that revolves around Starbucks as if caffeine is the gravitational pull that puts us all into perpetual motion. 

What!? Start your day without a cup of joe? Blaspheme!

My favorite local coffee shop is located across from a park, next to the library across the street from the post office and below some great condominiums. When you sit in the shop as I am now, you feel almost as if life revolves around this little shop. People plan their day around getting coffee at this shop; myself included.

You can just hear Suzie soccer mom say, “We’ll drop off our book at the library, grab a book of stamps at the post office and go play at the park, but only if mommy can get her tall extra hot soy latte first.”

 Little shops like this one provide the necessary stamina for mothers, city executives, students, and unemployed college drop-outs  alike to make it through the day. The crazy part of it however is that I don’t think it’s entirely the coffee. While the caffeine keeps their eyes open, it’s the social energy that keeps their spirits up. It’s the buzz of life and community and relationships that gives them hope. It puts into perspective the fact that there are more important things in life than paying bills or cleaning the house, or rotating your cars tires.

At the deepest level of humanity we all have this desire to connect. A desire to be with others and do nothing more than catch up on life.

Robert Putnam wrote a book Bowling Alone, that summed up says we are less social today than we were in past generations. He claims that while more people participate in bowling, fewer and fewer people are part of bowling leagues. He makes the case that the activities we participate in are far more individualistic than in the past.

Nicholas Lemann, editor of The Atlantic Monthly however responded in his article entitled Kicking In Groups by saying it’s not that we are less social than in past generations, we simply are social in different ways. The activities that provide us with social interaction are simply different than they were 30, 40, 50 years ago.

If I were to venture a guess as to where we are getting our social interaction, it’s at the local Starbucks. Whether we’re there for a meeting, a bible study, a heart to heart or simply to blog about coffee shops there is a level of community that is unmatched in virtual every other environment in today’s society. Simply put…life happens over coffee.

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~ by David on Friday, February 22, 2008.

One Response to “Life Happens Over Coffee”

  1. […] At An Anthology of Thoughts there is a thoughtful post called Life Happens Over Coffee […]

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