This gem of wisdom my aunt forwarded to me, and reflecting on a recent coffee social, I found it quite suiting. I would like to help share it with the world.
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:
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 others 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, we brew the coffee, not the cups. Enjoy your coffee! The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.
Reflecting on this with today’s event in mind, I see that the enjoyment came not from the Styrofoam cups from which we drank the coffee, in a rather humble room, but rather from the laughter, the joking, and the recollection of the good, and even the bad, times that we have shared. For you see, a happy person is truly a wealthy person. Life isn’t about amassing fortunes; it’s about simply enjoying life. Wealth doesn’t bring one happiness – happiness brings one wealth.