Have you ever noticed how latte machines sound like breathing tubes? They have the same steady rhythm of blank noise. And they're both turned out in favor of something that seems bigger- the conversation or book or website. Yet it seems that without either of them the world wouldn't spin round.
Today I was standing on a street corner waiting for the red hand to be replaced by the green man. Next to me was a man in worn corduroys and an old western shirt. He could have been an art student and he just as easily could have been a homeless person. He was holding a coffee cup with the last few ounces left. A woman in a beautiful (must have been Burberry) trench coat walked by and dropped a dollar in his cup. He looked up incredulously. She kept walking by and I heard him mutter under his breath, "that coffee cost more than a dollar".
Remember when converse were the shoes to have? Then knock-off converse started showing up. Then the big brands started making converse. And before you knew it you could pay $130 for a pair of jcrew imitation converse instead of $60 for the real deal. Well now Toms are the shoe to have. The other day, a girl showed up at school wearing a pair of knock-off Toms because "the real ones are way expensive".
I have a serious problem with Toms. I think it's pretty incredible the amount of shoes they've been able to donate. But it really bothers me that as a culture we won't help others unless there's something in it for us. Yes, having all those shoes donated is a great thing. But imagine how much more could have been done if every one of those customers had donated $60.
I'm a purist and an idealist. I like books and will never read on a kindle or iPad. I judge people who get mochas and call them caffeine or coffee. I really like going to the bank to get cash, ATMs just aren't as much fun. And I'd like to live in a world when people help others not because it's convenient or it makes them feel better, but because we recognize the common humanity.