Indifference at the Coffeehouse
Hey y’all, you all, yous guys, how’s it going? I’m at Electric Coffee, It’s a coffeehouse in the heart of The Texas Hill Country. It’s somewhat out of place. A hub for the growing counter culture of Boerne, Texas. It’s inspiring, sitting here, as I often do, and watching as more, and more people wander in through the front door. Today more than yesterday, tomorrow more than today; listening to the conversations, people talking about: music, politics, religion, anything that might otherwise frighten others in this old conservative, German town. “Are ya’ll going to start doing Acai Bowls? Do you have SuperGreen Smoothies? Organic? Natural? Where do you buy your milk?” It’s all local. A coffeehouse down the street has a TV displayed on the wall, it’s always airing FOX News—not that-that’s bad, it’s just the always the same—that coffeehouse hasn’t changed in 20 years. Electric Coffee has a tin Ramones lunch box displayed atop a shelf full of old records, Elvis Presley is standing behind the counter wearing an Electric Coffee baseball cap, T-shirt, and holding—as well as a cardboard cutout can hold—a small coffee cup.
I love watching our world change. Playing witness to these changes on a local, personal level. I was driving through Boerne, listening to music, singing along, killing time before I had to sit down and start writing, a song started playing that I find exceptionally inspirational, and it made me think of the people that I’ve met everywhere that I have lived, while hanging out in coffeehouses: The Villa in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Sunset Coffee in Sandy, Utah; MUD Coffee Manhattan, New York; Iconik Coffeehouse, Santa Fe New Mexico; Electric Coffee in Boerne, Texas. I have met wonderful people. And yet we’re surrounded, so completely, by people whom are consumed by indifference. I saw a post, on Facebook, regarding an article written about Gal Gadot, the actress playing the 2017 remake of Wonder Woman, about her support for Israeli something, or others—I don’t want to get into it, it’s not the point of this article—racism, sexism, prejudice, it occurred to me that we have no room left to be human—And, yes, this has been a reoccurring thought of mine, and thousands of others, however, it hit me slightly differently today—especially anyone standing in some spotlight for any reason. Someone is going to arrogantly attack you for whatever they’re capable of finding that they don’t like about you, and occasionally they’re going to just make shit up. And, guess what, you’re doing the exact same thing to somebody else.
Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech—winning the Oscar for Best Actor—for his role in The Dallas Buyers Club, he discussed being asked about his hero. “Who is your hero?” “My hero is me, in ten years…and every day, every month, and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away.” The response is an incredibly profound idea, and one to emulate, to adopt so that we might better maintain high standards of ourselves, because maintaining high standards of ourselves is important, and it is necessary for us to be accepting, and accountable human beings. But, like the song that I was listening to in the car, and hundreds of inspirational people, and quotes, and ideas, and opportunities, we recognize them as sound bites, only. We hear these words, and we nod our heads, and we think to ourselves, Wow, yeah my dreams cool and then we do nothing. We continue to bury our heads, our minds, and our hearts into our phones. We are so lost, we cannot even recognize it anymore. We use our hero’s, and their words to attack people on Twitter, and on Facebook, and make ignorant claims, and demand perfection. But expecting perfection of one another is insanity. It is quite literally, insanity.
If Mother Theresa, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela (became President in 94’), Martin Luther King Jr., Plato, Oscar Wilde, Abraham, John F. Kennedy, and John Lennon, and more, many-many more, lived in the social media age we would scrutinize, and critique, and demand, and judge each and every one of them. We wouldn’t have allowed them to be human. To make mistakes. Or to make, and inspire change. We need to find a way to allow one another to be human. The concept is so simple, it requires only two simply, and commonly referenced ideals: acceptance and empathy. Acceptance is not always easy, in fact, it can be exceptionally difficult. However, empathy is easy: how would you feel if someone treated you, thought of you, judged you the way that you do them? So, everyone, go look up ‘indifference’ in the dictionary, and then stop it. Go sit at your local Electric Coffee, and watch how so many different people can come together—not behind an ideal, or a belief—but simply because we’re human.