Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Coffee & Hope

Whilst sitting in Starbucks putting pen to paper (actually, pen to napkin but lets not split hairs, its all wood), I'm reminded at how many different people there are in this world.

I recently read a book entitled 'The Prophecy Answer Book' by David Jeremiah (a full review can be found at my blog lgib-bookreview.blogspot.com) where one of the questions raised in this book is that of radical Muslims and their quest to convert all to Islam. It honestly frightens me that extreme fundamentalists are seemingly making this 'prophecy' come true. The answer given to the conversion to Islam started in the 7th century that if those who refuse to covert will be killed. As we all know, it was recently the nine year anniversary of 9/11 and it brings home again, the real danger of this 'quest' very much still happening today.

I'm certainly not trying to be all doom and gloom about this but it is something that I think more of especially since moving to America.

But, as I sit in Starbucks, it gives me some hope. If you ever feel a little down about the world - the wars, the famine, the politicians...go to your local coffee shop (it doesn't have to be a Starbuck's) and I think it will give you some hope too.

All walks of life meander in at my Cambridge branch (of said coffee shop)...the student, the busy professional, the yummy mummies, the housewives and the sliver surfers...they all sit here together, sipping their coffee, sometimes interacting, (I had a brief chat with a young woman with her dog - a momentary conversation but a lovely one nonetheless) more often than not, just grabbing a latte and heading out again.

There is no recognition of each others religion, their economic status, the kind of shoes they wear (actually, I do notice that...not sure why, but it could stem from the phrase "you can tell a lot about a person from the kind of shoes they wear" or words to that effect. But then again, for me its more like - 'they're a fabulous pair of heels, where did she get them from or they look nice, Hubby would suit those'..but I digress!)

I'm sure the cynics amongst us will say that we don't notice these things because we're consumed with our own (little) world. We're so self-absorbed we don't stop to notice other people. True - but is that a completely bad thing? Perhaps if we stopped criticizing our neighbors we'd actually get along.

Does it really matter what color the person next to us is? Who their God is? The fact is, shouldn't just simply being nice to each other be one of the most important things to do in life? Respect one another - shouldn't this be the key to getting on with your fellow human being - but world leaders know that don't they? I mean we all know that, don't we?

It saddens me that we teach children wrong from right, violence is not the answer, only for them to grow up in a world where adults choose weapons over talking.

Mind you, all this killing and intolerance of each others foibles will get us no where come 2012. Its the apparent end of the world...so will being a Christian, Muslim or an environmentalist really matter when an asteroid (as big as Rhode Island) or a sun flare hits the earth, causing the end of 90% of human civilization? (How's that for real doom and gloom?)

So, I reckon we should just try to be a little more kind to our neighbors, literal or otherwise, remember you're not perfect and sit back, relax and smile to the person sitting near you (without creeping them out) as you sip your mocha-chocca-vanilla, pumpkin spiced latte...