You probably won’t believe me when I tell you that a good head on your beer is the key to happiness in life, even if you don’t drink beer. I had a conversation with a co-worker the other day about taking pleasure in life and how to best achieve that. The more I think about that conversation the more I realize that the consumer driven model in the United States is contributing to our misery. Beer is merely an example of my theory but I think a pertinent one.
We would all like to happy. No one is ever going to be happy all the time so the idea is to have as many moments of happiness as possible. How do we achieve this?
Traditional beer steins have a fill line an inch or so below the rim of the cup because beer tastes better when consumed through a foamy head. However, people want more so they insist on the glass being filled to the brim. They gave up joy and pleasure for more. I think that’s a prevalent theme in our culture.
Do you put a little hot water in your coffee mug in the morning to heat it up before putting in the coffee? The coffee or tea is better that way but it takes longer.
Do you warm a cold soup spoon for a few second before plunging into your bowl of piping hot soup? Do you use a hot towel on your face before you shave? People used to do these things. Why? Because it gave them pleasure. Do we eat fresh grown vegetables? Do we use spices grown in our windowsill garden? Do we eat freshly baked bread and smell the odor wafting through our houses? No, no, no. Why not? Because it takes time and effort. I’m not suggesting that I’m immune to this syndrome or that I’ve got all the answers. I don’t bake bread or grow vegetables. I’m just saying that if I were to do so it would provide me with moments of happiness.
The big happiness that we strive for is also good. Vacations, a comfortable house, a car. I don’t think consumerism is all bad, I just think we’ve gone too far. We work too much to buy things and skip out on simple pleasures.
A bowl of soup and a few freshly made rolls to dunk? Count me in. A bowl of soup down at BreadCo (Panera Bread to everyone who doesn’t live in St. Louis) and rolls made that morning is pretty good. I’ll take it. But, if I choose to spend a little time I could have more. It’s my fault I don’t. Consumerism has some blame in all of this but in the end I need to make sure I get pleasure and happiness out of life.
I’m not even suggestion you grow a vegetable garden or cut back on your hours of work, I’m merely proposing that you have the bartender pour that beer with a head even it means you lose a small amount of the total beer. Take pleasure when you can, there will be time when there is no more.
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
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