on coffee, the army, and 2012
i do enjoy a cup of good coffee. in fact, i’m sipping on a cup right now as i write this and it is absolutely sublime. coffee lubricates my mind like oil in an engine and without it, i am just a hollow shell of myself.
some people take their love of coffee to the extreme. their coffee comes in fancy bags promising that no baby polar bears were clubbed to death during manufacture, they weigh their coffee beans on digital scales to the tenth of a gram, and they monitor their water temperature to ensure the “optimal brew.” most of us coffee drinkers laugh or even scorn these coffee geeks. after all, part of coffee’s appeal is its humility as it quietly does its job, day after day, without fuss or complaining.
but in this new year, i’ve come to understand the coffee geek. they seek the obscure, hidden knowledge that most people can’t be bothered with. their pursuit makes them, for a few minutes in a day, experts in something, however trivial that something may be. when everyone on average is average (by definition of the word), being an expert is a good feeling.
coffee geeks are just one manifestation of how people long to stand out and be special. how many of our daily struggles arise from our quests to differentiate ourselves from the pack? hunting that next promotion, tedious exercise, obsessively chasing knowledge, education and suffixes to names – people no longer subscribe to the u.s. army’s slogan of “be all you can be”…people now want to be even more.
so what does that mean for the new year? i think i’ll let the the over-achievers achieve their achievements. i’ll smile and wave to them as they hunt their elusive prey. i hope that they find what they are looking for and that it makes them happy. i suspect that it will not. as for me, i’ll immerse myself in the present, which at the present, is a cup of coffee.
drat, it’s gone cold.