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What I’ve Learned From Starbucks

June 14, 2007

Warning: I feel uninspired today, and I am not feeling original.

Anyway, I came across this commentary in the Philadelphia Inquirer last Friday: Too many graduation speeches are pap and circumlocution

The commentary lists “pearls of wisdom from [the author’s] teenaged students, gathered during the course of [their] conversations and writings together” in the spirit of the Esquire column “What I’ve Learned.”

I’m not a teacher; so I don’t get to learn from students like this author from the Inquirer. But I am a creature of habit. And I need my tall vanilla non-fat chai latte by 3:00 p.m. or else I’m not as productive as I can be. And this is what I’ve learned from the back of Starbucks cups:

*A very bad (and all too common) way to misread a newspaper: To see whatever supports your point of view as fact, and anything that contradicts your point of view as bias.

*Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down.

*You simply can’t make someone love you if they don’t. You must choose someone who already loves you. If you choose someone who does not love you, this is the sort of love you must want.

*It takes two seconds to tell the truth and it costs nothing. A lie takes time and it costs everything.

*A person’s pursuit of goodness leads to greatness, but the pursuit of greatness leads to ruin. Pursue goodness and you will achieve great things.

*Children are living in a world surrounded by media. If we can use television to teach tolerance and respect and promote healthy eating, we can indeed change the world.

*A mature person is one who can say: My parents may have made some mistakes raising me, but they did the best they could: now it’s up to me.

*There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, just results.

*Growing up, my parents always said, “You will leave this world the same way you came into it: with nothing.” It made me realize that the only things we do in this world that count are those things that make the world a better place for those who will come behind us.

*I used to think that going to the jungle made my life an adventure. However, after years of unusual work in exotic places, I realize that it is not how far off I go, or how deep into the forest I walk that gives my life meaning. I see that living life fully is what makes life – anyone’s life, no matter where they do or do not go – an adventure.

Have YOU learned anything lately?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Philadelphia_Lawyer permalink
    June 14, 2007 1:47 pm

    What I’ve learned from Starbucks is that I can get high for less than $2 — and it’s legal!

  2. June 14, 2007 1:56 pm

    Ha ha. Very funny. I think Starbucks is way too expensive, but I like the fact that the company seems to treat its employees well.

  3. June 14, 2007 5:27 pm

    Charging $3 or more for a large coffee drink, they should be giving me health insurance. They give it to even part-time employees but what about the full-time coffee drinkers? We are just as instrumental in keeping Starbucks in business as the employees. Health insurance for everyone, Starbucks! Seriously though, I do love that I can order a quadruple espresso there and they don’t even blink. They just look at the Barista and say, “Quad Espresso”. This is America, everything in excess.

  4. June 14, 2007 6:09 pm

    I hear you! I hope you weren’t planning on sleeping anytime soon when you ordered that Quad Espresso.

    Anyway, you’re right. America = excess. Where else could you order a venti caramel nonfat macchiato, extra hot, with extra foam, upside down with an extra shot of vanilla?

  5. June 16, 2007 11:15 am

    To read about a disability discrimination suit that Starbucks settled just a couple of days ago, check out this short article:

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