My friend Tony with a group of University Lecturers, well established in their careers, decided to visit their old esteemed university professor, now elderly and retired. During their visit conversation evolved into complaints about stress in their work and lives.
The professor offered his guests coffee. The professor returned from the kitchen with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, pottery, glass & plastic. Some were plain looking and others were fancy. The professor urged the group to help themselves to the coffee.
When the entire group held a cup of coffee the professor observed, “Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups have been used while the plain and cheap ones remain. While it is understandable for you to want only the best for yourselves, it demonstrates the source of your problems and stress.”
“Be assured,” he continued, “that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases a fancy cup simply is more exclusive and may obscure what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup. But you consciously went for the best cups… and then you began eyeing each other’s cups.”
“Now consider this: Life is the coffee. Your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools that hold and contain life. The type of cup one has does not define, nor change the quality of life a person lives. Some times, by concentrating primarily on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.”
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”