Saturday, November 5, 2011

Coffee plus Jobs is a Good Thing, As is Good Health


I've seen my 3rd grader wearing lots of rubber and elastic bracelets on her wrists. Some say things like "Life!" or "boogie bash 2011"while others are associated with her various affiliations, like School of Rock. Some are hair bands to tie back her hair on the days she does gymnastics. Others are simply for decoration---a bit of glitter here, neon glow for that special nighttime effect. Well now, I have my own bracelet. It says "Indivisible." I got it at Starbucks for $5.00. Starbucks has teamed up with the Opportunity Finance Network to provide financing for community businesses. The goal is simple and straightforward: to create and sustain jobs.

The impulse to do good is a strong one. Sometimes the time and effort seems daunting, but there are avenues to do good and to effect change. Starbucks, which contributed $5 million to jumpstart this project, is at the epicenter of many creative activities and social interactions that lead to solid output and sustained friendships. Why not launch a "grass roots" jobs program harnessing the collective power of the millions and millions of people who go to Starbucks every week, or in some cases every day, or in certain cases, several times a day.

One thing I am learning is that life is fickle. I choose to move through my days being active and alert and alive, but as humans we all contend with the threat of poor health and the randomness of the world around us. Coffee, in my opinion, helps buffer against the stress of that reality. It makes us happier---and healthier.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

In 3rd grade, my teacher read the book "The Hobbit" out loud to the entire class. Each student had a copy of the book so that they could follow along. Looking back, I believe that this was probably the most significant learning experience I ever had in school.

The teacher; Mrs. Chesta, was a lovely, sweet person and could read in a wonderfully entertaining manner. Each day, every child in the class looked forward to the moment when she would begin. This particular book; The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, was an excellent choice because not only was it beautifully written, but it also was part of a group of books; the Lord of the Rings.

The next year, I read The Lord of the Rings on my own. As a 9 year old, this was my first major book experience and it was awesome.

Educating a child is a difficult thing considering they take in so much, they are influenced in ways that are difficult to realize in the flow of time. For me, again looking back many years, reading has taught me more about writing, english and done more to advance my thinking than any other single thing.

Nic, frankly, I would be surprised if didn't already read to your children. If anyone could do that well, I suspect you are just that person. However, if I may be so bold, perhaps picking a book together and buying 2 copies, and then reading it together would be a nice mother-daughter activity.

Thank you, Mrs. Chesta, for changing my life.

Nicole Gray-Chan said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for being who you are. And for sharing your wisdom. I still have not figured out who you are---though I have certain clues. I suspect, however, that we have shared a cup of coffee together. Sending best wishes and good energy.

Joe the Novelist said...

Hey I just saw this. That's a cool bracelet for a good cause. I got it too.