The Coffee Cup

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I am finishing a cup of coffee. If it's a typical day, and if this about seven in the morning, then it's my first cup of the day. As I put the mug in the sink, I think already there's a lot to do. Soon I'll be at work. Mornings are frenetic there. Attorneys begin their days by listing every task that needs doing and they don't leave anything out. As a rule, the hours before lunch are spent pumping out authoritative letters printed on watermarked bond and only once it's clear that the firm will hit its mark for the day's business, will things quiet down. During one of these morning sessions, my boss told me that while waiting in line at the supermarket, he used the time to plan out exactly how many slices of ham he would need for the week ahead. Having been the type of person who did not know how many slices of ham he would need for, or if he would even want ham, I feel an odd admiration.

Which brings me to my second cup of coffee. Work allowing, this comes at around eleven from the coffee machine at the firm. As I take this coffee back to my desk, I think how the line between what I do when I study and what I do in my spare time is beginning to blur. When I learn, I want that knowledge to be a part of me, not just information for some exam. This, then is the introspective cup of coffee. It asks me to pry into the many dimensions of "I" and tease out their relation to the more general "we." It's the context in which those interior thoughts are demanded which makes this cup of coffee a little harder to drink. The considerations of "need" and "should" and other are eternal. They are the forces that shape us, in some ways through feelings like shame or guilt, but in other ways through feelings like admiration and respect. The honest external element isn't simply what I've been told makes good character or good virtue, but how I understand and judge the many was of having unique character and personality. Those considerations speak to the way I see other people and also to the different ways I see myself. When I drink coffee this way, the introduction of "should" doesn't change the goal of finding the words which unlock what I want, it just changes my understanding of what a description of myself might be.

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