02 Nov

Coffee Gate 2016: My Choice To Drink From A Community Cup

Election!? What Election?! We’s got a drinking debate going on in this country.

I opened my Facebook today like I do everyday. Only today was different. I see a photo post that reads, “Love the New Oneness cup!” The image was that famous Starbucks coffee cup shape, only not in the usual white or red color. It was a shade of green, with a compelling line drawing of people. Inside the cup, that same great tasting coffee Starbucks is known for around the world. Nothing about the product had changed.

Starbucks cup photographed on October 26, 2016. (Joshua Trujillo/Starbucks)
Starbucks cup photographed on October 26, 2016. (Joshua Trujillo/Starbucks)

Cool, I think. Or, I question? In an instant I wasn’t sure what to think.

Words are powerful. I have to ask the Facebook poster, “Did they (Starbucks) really call it a oneness cup?” I love the word “oneness.” I was jumping up and down for joy one of the worlds largest companies believes in oneness. Let me help you – oneness is defined as, the state of being whole. For some it may have a religious or spiritual undertone, being one with God. Just to be clear, when I say oneness I do not mean same ness. I don’t even mean One God, I mean one God by all names. I believe in the word “Oneness.” My immediate question was, would the worlds leading distribution of coffee worldwide use the word Oneness?

I knew it my gut; here we go again, coffee creating conscious communication. (Also known in in America as debate.) Are we were open for a new conversation? On oneness and dare I say unity, as a community, a country, a nation, heck a humanity?

A little more research and here’s what I found. The cup is called the “community” cup an artistic commitment to creating community in these interesting times before us. “The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo.

Someone help me out here. When did coffee go political? When did being good to each other become a debate?

I think the paradox here is interesting. Coffeegate 2015 was the debate of the red cup now in 2016 we have the green cup. Red was divisive, and now green is too. Dividing us over the idea of becoming a community. Can we win? Can’t we all just get along? Are we doomed to white cups forever? Watch out world we have another coffee gate uproar around social media. As with all things Starbucks does it creates campaigns for good and they do it with intentionality. They want to put good in the world. By no mistake the cup is green. Green meaning renewal of energy, health, good luck, the color of money. Green is known to renew and restore depleted energy, kind of like what happens to us when we drink coffee. Like it, do not like it coffee brings together community. Community the intersection of common + unity. How many times in life have you asked someone to join you for a coffee meeting. Coffee connects us.

So, like all good elections, seasons, and the people in our life things come and go while the debate rages on. While division may the “new” unity for some it will not be in my world.

To my Friend the one who proudly posted the “Oneness cup” we are getting there, becoming whole as one human family one cup at a time, one conversation at a time and one post at a time. Thanks for posting. Oh and Howard Schultz, thanks for your boldness. Now back to my macchiato and my dreaming of the day of Oneness.

For more on leadership presence and collaborative leadership, contact Holly Duckworth, LSP, CAE, CMP. Holly is a nationally recognized speaker, author and coach for collaborative leadership. Author of Ctrl+Alt+Believe: Reboot Your Association For Success, Holly is a columnist for MeetingsNet/IdeaExchange, Association Trends and writes regularly on the future of business for Science of Mind magazine. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at www.hollyduckworth.com, visit her on LinkedIn & follow her on twitter at @hduckworth.

A nationally recognized author, speaker and coach for conscious leadership and motivation. Holly is a regular columnist for MeetingsNet/IdeaExchange, Association Trends and writes regularly on the future of leadership for Science of Mind magazine. Join Holly in the conversation. Listen/watch her weekly show “Presence: How to Live & Lead Consciously.” Available on iTunes. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Learn more at www.hollyduckworth.com, visit her on LinkedIn & follow her on twitter at @hduckworth.

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