WHEN my children were quite tiny I made a trip to New York to visit my parents, and when returning home decided I would fill my suitcases with gifts for my wife and children. So I went shopping.
I stared at the amazing stuff being sold in the stores and was dazzled by the boxes, the pictures on them and the glossy covers that were used. I didn’t bother to ask the salespeople to open the boxes, but ordered the gifts one after the other.
The next day I tried to fit all the different packages into my suitcase and found that I couldn’t. My father who was watching then told me he would help me do the needful. “How?” I asked him, knowing that he had run a packing company before. “By taking the gifts out of their fancy boxes,” he said. For the next few minutes I watched with dismay and then despair as he took out ordinary, useless toys, dolls and even more useless stuff from beautiful boxes and put them into my suitcase.
I still remember the strange looks that came into the eyes of my family as I pulled out cheap stuff and gave it to them on my return home. The packaging had sure fooled me. A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university lecturer. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.
Offering his guests coffee, the lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer said: “If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones!!!
While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that could also be the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the better cups and are eyeing each other’s cups.” “Now, if life is coffee, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, but the quality of life doesn’t change. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee in it. So folks, don’t let the cups drive you…learn to enjoy the coffee instead!”
So true, isn’t it, we go through life fooled by the cup or the packaging, we look at a beautiful model on a magazine cover and dream of her not realizing she could be a disaster in our lives, and that behind the makeup and powder it’s bitter coffee. I love good coffee, and I’m sure you all do so let’s appreciate coffee and not cup it comes in. Let’s have coffee without Karan or Karen .!