Doing things differently since 1984
For three privileged years of my life, I got to study, work, and live in the UK. As anyone who has spent a significant amount of time overseas would tell you, the lessons I learned and wisdom I have gained from the experience are too invaluable to describe. If your goal is personal growth, and you have a means to do it, I highly recommend that you try and get yourself as far away as possible from your country and countrymen (and women).
One of the more delightful discoveries I had while abroad was something that seems too simple to even matter: a cup o’ tea [phrasing is my own].
Now, I know we have tea in America, but what I am trying to describe is not simply tea in a cup. Tea in a cup can be manufactured, branded, and widely distributed, like snuggies or beer hats.
“A cup o’ tea”, on the other hand, is a sacred moment in time. In this moment, there may be a storm raging outside, your to-do list may span the earth’s circumference, your debt-to-income ratio may give lenders seizures, and you may have 10 people waiting to argue with you, but they all fade to the background as you breathe in a fine aroma and sip a drink that warms your belly and soul.
Am I condoning ignoring your problems until they go away? No way! What I am saying is that, for 20 minutes or so, sometimes you need to sit down, sip a drink that is too hot to be gulped down in a hurry, and, well, ignore your problems. People can do this in all sorts of destructive ways – alcohol, spending money they don’t have, becoming obsessed with a virtual online persona – but a cup o’ tea is innocent, cheap (mine is $0.03 a bag), and only slightly addictive (if you go overboard with the caffeinated varieties).
So, whether you like tea or not, I would encourage everyone to enjoy their own version of “a cup o’ tea” every day, just so that we don’t lose sight of that beautiful, simple thing that happiness can be.