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When kicks you to the ground you realize real quick that there’re more to life than business, competition, and “every man for himself.” There’s community, friendship, and love. Tune in to episode 4 of On a Positive Note to hear the touching true story of competing coffee houses in Portland, Oregon that learned just that. Enjoy!
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00:30 A joke about a man who finally gets his dream job.
01:22 Two truths mirrored by the joke.
03:17 A positive news story about two competing coffee shops in Portland, Oregon.
05:08 The importance of choosing community and friendship over competition and fear.
06:04 Reflection questions
06:25 Wrap up
07:06 Featured song, “Reciprocity,” by Opel
Jonas Cain is the Facilitator of Fascination & Purveyor of Positivity of Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship that supports emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resilience to overcome life's challenges.
Album: Stranger Encounters (2008)
Guitar & Vocals: James Fiore
Bass: Bill Szafarowicz
Saxophone: Jonas Toutant
Keyboard: Josh Gunther
Drums: Jason Dimitropolis
(Used by permission from Youtube’s Audio Library)
Opening & Closing Tune: “Safety Net” by Riot
Lightning Bugs by Geographer
A Quiet Thought by Wayne Jones
Hi everyone! Jonas Cain here with Hashtag Positivity! Welcome to On a Positive Note.
As humans we are biologically wired to focus on what’s wrong with the world before we even recognize what’s right, which is why this podcast takes a different approach by sharing positive news stories from around the world to encourage listeners to see how they can apply these positive ideas to improve their lives, their families, and their communities.
And so, on a positive note, let’s start with the joke about the woman who stopped at a friend’s house for a visit. When she arrived, her friend asked if she wanted something to drink and she politely asked for coffee. Upon receiving the cup of coffee, she went on to complain about a laundry list of problems with her life, about her friends and family, about her job, about her marriage, about her kids, about the country, and about anything and everything. When she finally stopped to take a sip of her coffee, her friend look at her with compassion and offered some words of advice to soothe her troubled mind, and that’s where the trouble started, but before he could finish she stopped him and said: You know what the difference is between this coffee and your opinion? I asked for the coffee!
Even though this is just a joke, it does point to the truth, and there are two truths to consider:
First, is the notion that it is those who are most likely to complain who are the ones to least want to solve their problems. In other words, if someone takes pleasure in always finding something to complain about—no matter how positive a situation may be—why would they ever be interested in even considering solutions to these problems? Take away their problems, and they’d have nothing to latch on to and nothing to complain about! Take away their excuses, and they’d be left to look in the mirror and realize that if everything and everyone is a problem for them, then the real problem is the one starring at them in the mirror.
The second truth to consider, is that not all complaints need commentary. Sometimes our friends merely need an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and arms to hug them, because the very thought of facing the problems right now—no matter what they are—are simply too much to bare.
I know that for me personally, I’ve been on all sides of these truths. I’ve been the one complaining to avoid taking responsibility, and I’ve been the one looking for a shoulder to cry on. But I’ve also been the one offering advice when I should have been silent, and, I’ve also been the one who was able to read the situation well enough to know to simply hold presence with my friend.
So even though this is a joke, it does point to the truth, reminding us that the next time you find yourself in a situation where a friend is sharing their problems with you, before you say anything, ask yourself this question: What do they need? Are they asking for your opinion? Or are they just asking for a cup of coffee?
And on that note, it brings us to today’s positive new story about two competitors in the Oregon coffee market. Just over a year ago Dave and Tina McAdams opened a coffee house in the Oak Grove area of Portland called The Local Coffee Company, which is in direct competition with another coffee house on the other side of town called the Moonlight Coffee Café, owned by a woman named Pixie Adams.
Unfortunately, on the one year anniversary of opening their coffee spot, Dave was forced to celebrate in hospice care, because for the third time in his life he was diagnosed with cancer, but this time the prognosis is grime. The doctors told him that it’s inoperable and terminal. For Tina, this means losing her husband and their shop, because with Dave unable to work at the shop and with mounting medical bills, there’s just no way to stay in business.
And this is where the story gets interesting. Instead of sitting by and letting her competitors go out of business, Pixie, the owner of the Moonlight Coffee Café, stepped up to help. She’s been volunteering her time to work at Dave and Tina’s shop for free. Her help ensures that not only will they be able to pay Dave’s medical bills, but it also ensures that Tina will be able to stay in business even after Dave is gone.
Pixie explains why she chose to do this by sharing her personal philosophy: “It’s supposed to be friendship over business, community over competition. I am here supporting them, trying to generate attention for their business to help make sure that after Dave is gone, they still have the ability to keep the coffee place open.”
A number of years ago one of my early mentors, a man named Rick Forgay, told me that the true definition of competition is to conspire together. This idea has really stuck with me over the years and is a sound reminder that there’s enough business to go around, and I would especially suggest that this is especially true in the coffee industry.
I’m encouraged by Pixie’s kindness, to overlook cutthroat competition in favor of community, in favor or selflessness, in favor of friendship and of love. Even though they didn’t ask for it, and even though they never would have expected it, Pixie stepped up and offered them the hand of friendship.
She is the perfect example of someone who is able to read the situation and ask: “What do they need? Are they asking for help? Or are they just asking for a cup of coffee?”
I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, and I encourage you to leave a rating and subscribe to the podcast, as that’s truly the best way to let others know about this positive resource.
If you have any comments or stories that you’d like to share with our listeners, you can send an email to me directly at email@example.com. And that email is also listed in the description of today’s episode.
Until next time, my name is Jonas Cain and this has been another episode of On a Positive Note.
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Jonas Cain is a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator of Fascination for Hashtag Positivity, a social entrepreneurship providing social emotional knowledge, skills, and resources to help emerging leaders and their influencers experience greater clarity, confidence, courage, and joy in their life, work, and relationships.