Coffee shops are a necessary social institution. They’re a place for meeting, reuniting, flirting, reading, studying, napping, meditating, observing, and imbibing.
I feel immensely grateful to work in one. I eavesdrop on brown-nosers, innovators, hobbyists, gossipers, and over-sharers. I see joyful reunions and daily fights between friends over who gets to pay for whose latte. I meet local business owners, professors, students, artists, volunteers, and retirees. I see kindness and generosity extended. I see community at work. And I get to be a part of it.
Today I met a new friend at a local coffee shop. Although the ambiance differed from the one where I work, the purpose was the same. Coffee shops create an open atmosphere for free expression, a safe space for complaining, intervening, and frivolous merry-making alike.
My daily work is addictive. That we can unite under the banner of espresso – republican and democrat, Christian and Atheist, heterosexual and homosexual, scholar and athlete, male and female – fills me with joy.
Diplomats should consider conducting their meetings exclusively at coffee shops.