Monday 9 July 2007

Living in Tension

I wonder if you, like me, find yourself living in tension of who you are, what you believe and how you put those beliefs into action. I would guess that most of us experience this tension. I'm sure it's part of being human and doesn't just relate to those viewing life through the window of religion and spirituality. In fact, I'm sure there are multiple areas of tension in our lives - issues and standards that pull us one way or the other. Yes, the more I think about it there are definitely multiple areas. I wont list them all, but I will mention one.

If you haven't picked it up by now, let me confess something to you:

I like Starbucks.

For all I want to see justice and fairness in the world and maybe even take small steps away from globalization (certainly consumerism...he says, as he types away on his brand new computer), I do like Starbucks.

Just as an example of my paradoxical ways, yesterday I visited a local church because one of its members lives on our street. As I drove home I noticed a new Starbucks that had opened. I made a point of pulling a U turn (both in reality and symbolically?) and went in for some coffee. The store is located in one of the "more-well-to-do" areas of Dublin on the banks of the Grand Canal and, I have to say, I think I would class this as my favourite Starbucks store in Ireland. (I have a feeling that I'm just about keeping up with the small collection).

It's a good size, the usual comfortable chairs and wasn't too busy. They also have a basement area which would be a great meeting space for a discussion group or the occasional Brunch Church - I must ask my friends about that.

To give Starbucks some credit, they do sell Fairtrade coffee and seem to have some involvement in the local community. I wonder if I used Starbucks for some positive means (aside from personally enjoying coffee) whether that would help to ease the tension?

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