Unique parable defines the homesteading lifestyle

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Steve, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    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 but 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, 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 began eyeing each other's cups.

    Now consider this:
    Life is the coffee, and 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 God has provided us."

    God brews the coffee, not the cups.......... enjoy your coffee!
     
  2. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing this. The author is wise indeed.
     

  3. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    One way of looking at consumerism I suppose.

    Then again,beauty and luxury does add spice to life IMHO.
    It explains roses for one.

    I would much prefer a cup that feels good in my hand,and looks good,than to one that doesnt.Whats so wrong about that?

    I would also prefer a BMW to a KIA.

    I dont get it I guess.
    I dont see luxuries as somehow evil.

    BooBoo
     
  4. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    The luxuries are not evil, it is the stress of chasing after the luxuries that is...
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On a "totally missing the point" note , I feel compelled to add that coffee in a plastic cup just doesn't taste as good as coffee in a ceramic mug. :)
     
  6. Larburlingame

    Larburlingame Well-Known Member

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    For too many people things are about them not the items use. "I have a BMW! Notice me! I am important!" As far as transportation goes these people think a BMW and a Chevy drive the same.
     
  7. Morning Owl

    Morning Owl Well-Known Member

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    I liked your post Steve, thanks for sharing. I believe it is true for me. :rolleyes: I have been trying very hard to look at every thing I buy and ask myself "will this help me get to the selfsuffient life I want?" If the answer is no then I reevaluate whether or not to buy it. Some times pretty things can slow you down or get in the way, and are not worth it in the long run. Just MHO, I know that every one has their own standerd of quality living.
     
  8. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Have you ridden in a BMW? I drive a Kia Rio, one of my employees has a Chevy Malibu, another has a BMW. When we go out, we take the BMW. The ride is exquisite. Yes, the Kia and the Chevy both will get you there, but the BMW makes the trip a real pleasure. In this case, the cup makes the coffee better.

    If I had the disposable income to drop without worry, I'd probably be driving a BMW or something similar.

    Save it all, drink the coffee straight from the pot.
     
  9. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    *laugh* I too missed the point. I have an exquisite tea set I inherited somewhere along the line and tea does indeed "taste better" in those cups. Probably because the experience of drinking the tea is so much nicer.

    Reaching for the finer things is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Failing to appreciate art, luxury, and a Mini Cooper cornering at 50 mph is definitely the sign of some sort of character flaw.
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Would you say that Internet usage/access is a luxury item? If so, we are all in trouble.
     
  11. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So quit stressing and go get the tests done! :)

    As to the original post, the counsel it contained was valuable for me, maybe not for all. As I simplify, it seems the quality of my life goes up.
     
  12. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    I would also add that it is the comparison of cups that is an evil.

    It is when you envy someone else's cup and do not want anyone else to have a better cup than you. Perhaps it should be finding contentment what you have.

    If I mentioned this to my mom, she would point out that there is a starving kid in China so I should finish my whole cup of coffee.
     
  13. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    I would tell my kids that there are people in the world who don't even have a cup, so go clean your room!!! (Is that logical? Doesn't matter. I am sure that no matter what we are discussing their rooms need cleaned...)
     
  14. BasicLiving

    BasicLiving Well-Known Member

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    I like the parable - and it holds specific meaning for me. But I also got a really good chuckle out of some of the responses. Uh oh - speaking of coffee cups.... I gotta go clean my room :eek:
     
  15. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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  16. MountainRonda

    MountainRonda Active Member

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    Great food for thought, Steve.
    People have all sorts of motives when choosing things for themselves. I'm thinking of a good friend of mine who would choose the worst cup so that the better ones would be left for the other people. Needless to say, she's quite happy and satisfied with life.
    As for me, I'd probably choose something humble but nice, then be shure to expess my appreciation.
     
  17. rootsandwings

    rootsandwings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    cheap ceramic mug here - I don't want to be so worried about breaking the cup that I can't enjoy my coffee. I don't want to have to think about the cup at all - so it has to be high quality enough for comfort (no paper with fold out handles for me!) and common enough to be low maintenance.

    also, it should hold a lot of coffee.
     
  18. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you ever get a chance to catch a PBS show titled "Keeping Up Appearances", there's almost always a skit where Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "bouquet") invites her nighbor over for coffee. It almost always ends in a debate about which china to use (or not) and some type of spill or breakage. It's very funny show.
     
  19. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Something to consider - for my everyday use, I prefer utilitarian in most things I own. However, if someone offers me a choice of items to use that i do not have to pay for - such as expensive beer, crystal glasses, high-end tools, I will choose the nicest one. It's nice to take advantage of such opportunities to have taste of the expensive life.
     
  20. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    I love this thought, roots and wings, it is so true that people get caught up in the things that they forget what is important. THAT is what is the tragedy of those heading for more and better. I am fine having my car be second hand, my clothes from the thrift shop or hand me downs. I have a spectacular family and a wonderful life. Thank you.


    The original parable was wonderful, and a sentiment that I try to use in my life to keep me sane. Thank you Steve, for promoting such a thoughtful debate. The reality is that I would be the one to take the crappy mug and make sure everyone else had something nice. Hmmm, what does that say about me.

    I like comfort just like the rest of the world but not at the expense of all other things.