Here is something to ponder as you sip your morning cup of coffee.
The most important thing about life is not the details of what's happening, but how you feel about what's happening.
Every situation can be seen from a positive or negative perspective depending on how it makes you feel. It's all subjective. Our feelings shape our response to the world. Emotions rule supreme.
The central role of emotions is under appreciated. After all, we think of ourselves as rational animals.
However, the fact is we are not so much rational as rationalizing. We use our faculty of reason to think up excuses for feeling the way we do.
That is why changing the way you feel can change the way you think.
This is also why the most important thing in dealing with life is to pay attention, not so much to the details, but to how you feel about what's going on.
Anything that changes the way you feel will change your sense of reality. As we change our feelings our world world view shifts.
And this is why coffee has shaped the way we feel about our world, and not unnecessarily for the better.
Coffee, or rather the caffeine in coffee, stimulates not just the mind and bowels. It also exaggerates the emotions. It's general effect is increased irritability. In a sense, you feel more stressed, more on edge.
When you want an edge on the competition, a cup of java may seem just right. And since we live in a competitive, dog eat dog culture, caffeine has become a staple of life for most people. This is also why caffeine is in lots of drinks including coffee, including tea, green tea, mate ', soft drinks, and energy drinks. Caffeine is also in chocolate and is used as an additive in drugs, such as pain relievers. Some people even shower with caffeine in soap to absorb the stimulant through the skin.
We are a caffeinated world.
Kids use caffeine to keep hyper all day and get through the doldrums of school and the existential crises of teenhoodhood. Adults use caffeine to get up in the morning and face another day of life in the fast lane. Workers are revived and revved up with frequent coffee breaks. Even the military liberal uses caffeine to pump up soldiers and keep emergency workers juiced up for long, sleepless shifts.
While many people can manage the caffeine in their lives, others will feel tense, stressed, and short tempted without realizing the cause.
All this caffeine is addictive, and you need more and more to feel its effects. It is not unusual for people to drink 10 or more cups of coffee a day, or go through a six pack of caffeine diet soda. Waiting for another caffeine fix can cause headaches, so people instinctively want to take more, not less.
Occasionally, the high doses of caffeine in intake can overtax the nervous system. The heart beats rapidly. Sweat pours from the brow. Passions and tempers flare. You start to feel anxious about things that did not bother you before. Patience wears thin. Fights break out. And there is no antidote to the caffeine. In the end, it can kill.
Our culture gives people plenty of reasons for feeling angry and frustrated. Pumped with caffeine, this can turn to hatred and violence.
You become a caf-fiend.
While the world has not changed, your feelings about the world have. What seemed trivial before becomes a federal case. Kids get on your nerves. Your spouse gets on your nerves. In fact, everything gets on your nerves. You become mad as hell and you decide you are not going to take it any more.
This is how caffeine can ruin your life. People who are loving, kind, and patient can become aggressive, mean bullies when under the influence of caffeine.
Some people know this about caffeine and avoid the drug as much as possible. Others, however, take the drug so regularly that they do not realize that their hostility, nervousness, anxiety, and impatience are a side effect of a poison irritating their system.
Making matters worse, some people who tolerate caffeine at one time in their lives may develop caffeine deficiency later on. The body has to metabolize and eliminate caffeine, and most people can get rid of most of the caffeine within 24 hours. Others, however, can take over a week. And whether it takes a day or a week can change over time for any given person.
This means that someone used to drinking coffee every day with no ill effects may, without notice, suddenly start accumulating caffeine as their bodies lose their effectiveness in detoxifying. Each day the caffeine accumulates in their system faster than it is eliminated. And since caffeine did not bother them before, they will be unaware that it is the caffeine that has now changed their world view.
Such a person will seem to have gone through some personality shift, going from a Dr. Jekyll to a Mr. Coffee. They become more irritable, less satisfied with their jobs, lifestyle, and those around them. They may start fighting with their children, spouse, and co-workers.
Nothing changed for these people but their reaction to caffeine. The world is the same, but the way they feel about it has shifted. And that is all that really matters. To these people, it is reality that has changed. It did not bother them before, but it sure does now.
If these people realized they were victims of caffeine poisoning, all would be well. Withdrawals will hurt the head for a few days, but they can eliminate their addiction to caffeine. The real problem is when the victim does not realize that the cause of the problems is caffeine caused. They will blame the world, not their favorite beverage.
Worse still is when the caffeine victim is in a position of power. Coffee is available at virtually every group meeting. From board rooms to war rooms, caffeine is altering the minds of the people making decisions that affect the world.
Our culture is being run by caffeine addicts. Could this explain our penchant for war and violence? How many wars throughout history were started by over-caffeinated politicians and generals?
Could the perpetual Middle East crisis be caused, at least in part, by the fact that Middle Eastern cultures enjoy strong, Turkish-style coffee? Real issues exist between opposing factions, but these are exaggerated by caffeinated minds. Given enough caffeine and almost anyone will call for a jihad. Perhaps peace in the Middle East will someday be a reality if they start serving decaffeinated coffee at the next peace conference.
Decaffeination may also help labor / union relations. It's no surprise when marathon negotiations fail to avert a labor strike. Imagine how many cups of coffee these people have consumed throughout the negotiations. Now, if they served fruit juice instead …
How many divorces are caused by coffee will never be known for sure. But mid-life crises may be more a reflection of changes in caffeine than metabolism than in anything else. Couples should decaffeinate before they divorce.
Of course, many people realize that they feel edgy, even if they do not recognize the cause. To deal with those feelings that they usually drink alcohol, another feeling bender. They get high with caffeine all day and bring themselves down at night with alcohol. They go from manic to depressive. And the alcohol makes them need a caffeine fix to get started the next morning, a perpetual cycle of addiction.
Our world is run by people who are addicted to these, and to other, mind and mood altering drugs. Actually, our world is run by these drugs.
So the next time you feel fed up with the world, ask yourself if it's really clouds in the sky or just clouds in your coffee.