“North American people are the only ones to line up for something as enjoyable as coffee just to take it and go sit on their ass at work.”
I’m paraphrasing this a touch. My friend started it off with “Fucking white people.” I didn’t see his point of view before, but overtime I’ve come to realize what he was really trying to get at:
There is a huge difference between North American culture compared to European and South American culture.
“Hi, I’d like, an extra-large coffee with two milks and a sleeve for the cup.” I say after waiting in line for ten minutes. It takes them two (maybe two and a half) minutes to get my order. During this time, I’m staring at my phone to make sure I’m not late for work.
“Extra large with two milks.” I hear from behind the counter. I smile and grab my coffee and check the time once more. I walk out the door like the rest of the cattle people heading to be branded with coffee in hand. By the time I get to work and settle in for the day, my fresh, hot coffee is now warm at best and piss cold it is when I’m finished.
(Editor’s note: I literally just had to nuke my latte because it’d gone cold while working!)
Now, in Europe or even South America the culture is very different. The emphasis isn’t put on the rat race and competition but more hard work and enjoyment. They’re happy to bust their ass and work hard day-to-day, but when it comes time to enjoy something they’re going to enjoy it knowing they’ve earned it.
I believe the point my friend was trying to make here was this: when you take a coffee to go you take the simple pleasure out of it. In Europe and South America, the culture is a much slower pace. They bust their ass hard at work but when it comes time to enjoy something or celebrate a win they’re going to kick back and do just that. Because they know not only that they’ve earned it, they deserve it.
I can’t tell you the last time my coffee was hot from start-to-finish, let alone the last time I sat in a café for pleasure.
North Americans have stopped taking the time to enjoy themselves because they no longer believe they deserve it. While life is about progression it’s also about enjoying life in the moment. We put so much emphasis on being successful that we stop enjoying the time it takes for us to reach the level of success we desire/aspire to reach. We’ve lost how to sit back and enjoy something because we’re always looking for that instant gratification. Working through obstacles to reach a goal is what makes the victories and accomplishments so sweet.
And what happens when we do accomplish something? We downplay it. Erase the significance, and move the goal post, rather than, I don’t know, celebrating it? What’s the point? We’re working towards these goals with no real destination and no satisfaction once reached. We equate happiness and enjoyment with a reward we refuse to give ourselves, and that can’t be how life works. If you’re always moving your goal post, you’re going to live a very sad life.
To erase the significance of a win is to deny yourself happiness. This is unacceptable. We are not perfect, we are human. We can and must celebrate the small wins because know this: a win is a win. The only person who can let that win be taken away from you, is you. You may be asked what’s next. You may be asked now what? You may be asked why are you celebrating? The beauty? That’s for you to decide.