Coffee, and Honesty Done Well

Honesty has been in the air lately, and I wanted to write about it, but I was feeling a little befuddled.

I’m pushing myself to the wall, hard as I can, to go out and connect with people I don’t know.

If you know me, you’ll know this is like asking a baboon to compose a symphony.

I realized today that this needs to be fun. This needs to be something I like doing. And I owe it to myself to find ways to make it fun. Otherwise I won’t want to do it, I’ll procrastinate, and I won’t do it well.

I need some sway, some swagger, some belligerent philosophical jibberjabber in my common sense. I need to connect with people on the basis of what is fun, interesting and magic to both of us.

So this is about honesty after all.

Honesty is an art, not a science. And it is a range.

It’s like drinking your morning coffee (or beverage, if you prefer, although I despise the word ‘beverage’, so I refuse to use it unless I am shielded from it by parentheses).

You can pour last week’s cold coffee in your cup and chug it as fast as possible, so that in fifteen minutes you have to look in the cup to see if you really did drink the coffee or if you just imagined it. That is still called ‘drinking coffee’.

Or you can savor it – measuring the perfect amount of grounds, washing the pot twice, waiting next to it as it brews to take in the rich scent and gurgling song, pouring it into your favorite clean mug, measuring just the right amount of milk and sugar, slowly drinking it as you look out your window at the flowers growing, and then the caffeine hits your brain and everything is quiet and…

Ah.

Now that is drinking coffee well.

The same is true for honesty.

You can just shout out whatever happens to run through your head. That is technically honesty, yes. But it kind of sucks.

On the other hand, you can savor what you say. You can take time to find the wonder, the magic, the connection. Be honest not about the first thought you happen to have, but about who you are, what you love, what you are becoming, the beauty you see in the world and those around you.

That is honesty done well.

Connecting with people is all about honesty. And doing honesty well is even more important in cheesy business settings, depressing family gatherings, and mindless daily tasks – because that is where it is lacking, and that is where it can make the most difference.

Comments

  1. I love the analogy! Sometimes it’s best to just sit back and take your time. Savor things. Don’t wanna blow your load too soon.

    And what you say is especially important when it comes to blogging. You have to be yourself, but you don’t have to be all of yourself all the time. Choose what you write when you can, and let what you write choose you when it calls.

    That mix is the real authentic you. Set it to drip, and if it occasionally sputters and spits then so be it. That’s just the nature of these things.

    Cheers!

    • Right on so many levels Trevor. Being authentic, in life and in blogging, means being selective most of the time. You have to look for a balance, somewhere between what you choose and what the universe chooses to drift your way. It’s a mix that is usually less than perfect, and sometimes you have to burn the gunk out by running a load of vinegar through, which is stinky and unfit for public consumption, but necessary for future goodness. Such is life. As with honesty, being yourself matters a lot, but defining it is an arcane and fuzzy art.

      Thanks!

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