Coffee mugs

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Howie and I have too many coffee mugs. We cull them every so often and give some away, but the bottom of our one kitchen cabinet somehow remains just short of overflowing. Some we will always keep, such as our Dave’s Garden flower pot mugs (that’s Dave drinking out of the mug, and long-time member and friend Horseshoe is in the framed “Mug Shot” picture).

Most sentimental of all is our one remaining mug of a set of two purchased at The White Oak Inn on our honeymoon in 1992. It’s our “I love you” mug; when one of us serves the other coffee in it, it’s a non-verbal affirmation of our love for each other. The recipient always responds, “I love you, too.”

So, mugs are pretty central to our lives. As both a coffee lover and barista, the following piqued my interest when it arrived in my inbox today:

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said this:
“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 is the source of your problems and stress.

“Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eying each other’s cups.

“Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”

Isn’t this the truth? It’s cliche to say “it’s what’s inside that counts”, but it’s true.

7 thoughts on “Coffee mugs

  1. Absolutely correct !!!!! Maybe someday I can get that shoved permanently to the front burner instead of having it mostly on the back row. Way too many important things end up on the back burner in the “game” of Life. At least in my walk. Gets hard to see the Forest for the Trees.

  2. First, I apologize that the mugs I refer to are from the Other Guys, but I start everyday in a Starbuck’s skyline mug. I had lots of other mugs and winnowed the collection down to just the series 1 skylines. Reading the story above I thought about how I pick a mug from a collection. I would have gone for the shape: good sized handle, more wide than tall, and BIG. I like my coffee like I like my men… and I just realized how smutty that sounds, but I really meant the spouse and I need to lose some weight. 🙂

    Thanks for the tip on the Caribou Northern Lite Lattes–I will make a point to try them out (I LOVE raspberry coffee).

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