My last 3 blog posts were about the external, internal, and philosophical problems we were trying to solve for the world with our coffee (1, 2, 3). I want to address those for our podcast. I think this is important because we get a lot of odd looks from people when we say we are a beverage company, or coffee roaster, but have a podcast where we discuss religion and politics.
Much like the external problem with coffee we suffer from a polarization. There are the outraged trolls and elitists who think everyone else is stupid. These two things are very real, and not just in social media. People are wacko these days. Our current culture has blurred the lines between society, government, culture, religion, everything. Therefore, in order to create the change you want in the world, you must change all of those simultaneously. One way people do that is by lurking in the shadows and berating people who walk near their bridge (keeping with the troll motif there). The other approach is to “take the high road.” Which means, considering yourself enlightened over and above the commoners (who’s “woke” around here?). This elitist position belittles and discredits the individuals experiences that resulted in their particular belief system.
Trolls and Wokes create a sense of dread within…well, everyone. There are not many people who 100% agree with all of the social positions of the time. If they do, then I think questioning their sense of identity is reasonable (Nazi Germany anyone? Anyone?). We are all individuals with different experiences and world views which results in exactly that many different beliefs. That plethora of beliefs is what makes our world great. The problem comes about when no one shares those differing view points due to fear of being berated or belittled. The result becomes a very loud and narrow minded minority on both sides of the issue (due to our two party system, there are only two sides to any one issue thanks to that blurring of lines I spoke about above). These loud minorities fight so viciously that most reasonable people do not want to be anywhere near it. That ground in the middle, with all of the variation of beliefs, begins to deteriorate as those people leave the conversation. Leaving only two beliefs, two positions.
The breakdown of that middle ground robs us of meaningful experiences that push us forward. Civil debate is the formal term for talking about difficult topics and not being an asshole (i.e. Trolls and Wokes). We choose to call them Meaningful Conversations. If you have good friends, or good family, these happen all the time. The topics are as varied as the individuals. They are often raw and challenge us deeply. Sometimes we enjoy the conversation, sometimes we’re steaming mad. Regardless, we are better for having been challenged with a different perspective than our own. The point of these conversations is not to change the other’s belief system. Aside from amazing acts of Grace, that doesn’t happen. The point of these conversations is to build us up, make us better. We gather the collective experience of the community and share those challenges with others. Thereby gifting others with both their own life experience and the life experience of another. They then have at least twice the information they had prior. This better equips them for decision making and considering personal beliefs.
Our vision is to create a space where you can come get a delicious beverage and have a meaningful conversation.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.