Cup of Coffee on the Wall
From the Internet
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice, the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat on an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.’ We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying ‘A Cup of Coffee’.
While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, ‘A Cup of Coffee’.
It seemed that this gesture was a norm at this place. However, it was something unique and perplexing for us. Since we had nothing to do with the matter, we finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.
After a few days, we again had a chance to go to this coffee shop. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man entered. The way this man was dressed did not match the standard or the atmosphere of this coffee shop. Poverty was evident from the looks on his face. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, one cup of coffee from the wall. The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this when the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin. Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town welled up our eyes with tears.
Coffee is not a need of our society neither a necessity of life for us. The point to note is that when we take pleasure in any blessing, maybe we also need to think about those people who appreciate that specific blessing as much as we do but they cannot afford to have it.
Note the character of this waiter, who is playing a consistent and generous role to get the communication going between the affording and the needy with a smile on his face. He takes pleasure in serving the decrepit looking man as much as he did the paying, well-heeled customer.
Ponder upon this man in need….he enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem…he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee…without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him…he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.
When we analyze this story, along with the other characters, we need to remember the role played by the wall that reflects the generosity and care of the dwellers of this town
Another interesting concept that is gaining ground is reading a book, putting your name on the flyleaf with date and place and then leaving it in a public place for anybody to pick up. This is sharing pleasures with somebody totally unknown!
The term is derived from bookcrossing.com, a free online book club which was founded to encourage the practice, aiming to “make the whole world a library.”
The ‘crossing’ or exchanging of books may be done in many ways. It can be wild-releasing books in public, direct swaps with other members of the websites, or “book rings” in which books travel in a set order to participants who want to read a certain book. The community aspect of BookCrossing.com has grown and expanded in ways that were not expected at the outset, in the form of blog or forum discussions, mailing lists and annual conventions throughout the world.
Ron Hornbaker conceived the idea of BookCrossing in March 2001. On April 17, he launched the website, which has expanded and grown throughout the world. By April 2003 the website had over 113,000 members, and in 2004 the Concise Oxford Dictionary included the word ‘bookcrossing’. In the same year, BookCrossing was featured as a part of a storyline in the Australian soap opera Neighbours and took off in Croatia, thanks to Velimir Schubert.
As of 23 July 2010, Bookcrossing.com had over 871,000 members, with over 6,427,000 registered books. By March 2012, membership exceeded 1,000,000 and the registered book count exceeded 8,500,000.
In July 2007 Singapore became the first official BookCrossing country in the world. In an initiative launched together with the National Library of Singapore, 2,000 locations within the country were designated as ‘hotspots’, similar to Official BookCrossing Zones. In 2008, BookCrossing was introduced to Abu Dhabi as part of a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. In 2010, BookCrossing Zones were introduced in Serbia.
The chain of readers expands and a book is enjoyed by many. It saves the original buyer space to store it and yet spreads the pleasure of reading this book to many more people. The one objection could be that the author is deprived of royalty and the publisher revenue. But is this not a kind of open ended library?
Two different scenarios that talk about pleasure—sharing it and not hugging it close to yourself. That itself is a pleasure, isn’t
This is my delayed post to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, Gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Paul, Maria the Silver Fox, Rummuser , Will Knott, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get different flavours of the same topic.