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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fairytales

I was listening to a song by Sara Bareilles this week and it got me thinking about what I would like to write about today. The song, titled "Fairytale," tells twisted after-stories about all of the famous fairy-story princesses. In each case, Prince Charming saved them from a hellish life to drop them into a new life equally as hellish but in all new ways.

Besides being a catchy song, it raises a crucial question: Why do we let others save us? Most people, in the midst of a difficult situation, hand that situation off to someone else, hoping that not dealing with the problem will make the problem go away.

I've learned a little bit about problems in the last few years. And one of the things that I have learned is that the greatest issues arise when your problem is no longer yours. When you let others march their white steeds up to your own personal tower of distress, usually the prince proves to be a bit too heavy and you take a Rapunzel tumble out the window, leaving everything simply worse off than it was before.

So I got to thinking about letting other people save me. And it occurred to me that if I spent less time every day thinking about myself and my issues, maybe I wouldn't need other people to put on their shining armor and save me. Maybe, if I learned to spend time thinking of other people and other things, I'd solve my own problems. The fairytale was cute when we were children who didn't know how to tie our shoes or button up our Sunday shirts. But the love-and-sunshine, lemonade-and-popsicle reality that is childhood is no longer mine and (unless I have a decidedly younger readership than I thought) it is no longer yours either. Our problems have gotten too big for knights in shining armor and general laziness or fear to save us.

I'm not saying we must slay dragons alone. We all have friends. But it is no longer time to let others stick their well-meaning hands in our business and control us. We are our own people, Coffee Lovers. We have our own thoughts, our own dreams, and our own complications. Our stories have gotten too big to be called fairy tales.

And thank God for that.

May your coffee be strong, your passions electric, and your laughter easy.
-Michael

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