Life is Like a Cup of Coffee

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups. And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups! The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Cup of Life



  1. bw · December 8, 2007

    How true that the exteriors don’t really mean much – it is our innate nature and goodwill that matters most to people 🙂

    Having said the above, I still like my brewed coffee at home piping hot on my lovely dark blue colored mug hehe 🙂

  2. K · December 8, 2007

    A friend forwarded this to me on an email many months ago and I even wrote about it.

    Happy weekend, nell.

  3. sardonicnell · December 8, 2007

    BW: i think it’s part of being human, that we sometimes look on the exterior and not what’s inside. i myself am like that, paminsan-minsan. but we need to correct it and always remind ourselves that what is truly important is invisible to the naked eye. dba? speaking of coffee, time to buy some again at costco as im running slow in supply. i’ve save a lot making my coffee here from home, that’s $3 something less from my daily expense. ok, dba? hehehehe 😀

    K: happy week end, a friend has also forwarded me this story. it was eye opener, kasi sometimes eh i’m also guilty of this. but what story said was true — they are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. amen to that 😉

  4. Jen · December 9, 2007

    I love this!!!!!!!

    Me stealing 🙂

  5. sardonicnell · December 9, 2007

    glad you like it, jen. please feel free to share it with others. hope you’re having a great week end 😀

  6. rollercoastermom · December 10, 2007

    that’s so true! sometimes lang talaga kasi people try to keep up with the jones, you know 😛 kahit na ikanda utang na nila yung buong buhay nila just to look sosyal. oh well. i hope a lot of people learn from this though 🙂

  7. sardonicnell · December 10, 2007

    hello kris! i guess it all something to do with this feeling that you belong or the fact that someone craves attention. pero kasi temporary lang na kaligayahan na yan eh and sorry to say this, pero ang babaw dba? hehehehe. hopefully, people learn that what is truly important is that we be ourselves and live a simple life 😀

  8. munchkinmommy · December 12, 2007

    thank you for sharing this, nell. 😀 i read somewhere that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have the best things in life or the best that life has to offer. and we can actually have whatever we want. the catch is…we have to be in a genuine state ot happiness and we have to give back as well. kasi, whatever we give, we receive again and again. 😉 well, that’s something i’d truly truly want to believe…and i think i do! hee hee! 😀

  9. sardonicnell · December 12, 2007

    you’re welcome, weng. glad you like this entry, kaya let’s give love everyday and not just on the holidays. dba? sabi nga nila, it’s better to give than to receive, hehehehe 😉

  10. Meeya · December 14, 2007

    amen! its human nature talaga to want pretty things, ok lang ako diyan. pero syempre, dapat matuto din tayo to appreciate and see the inherent beauty in the things that we already have.

    ang ganda pag-usapan ng ganitong mga topic over a cup of coffee 🙂

  11. sardonicnell · December 14, 2007

    tara na dito, meeya. kape tayo? hehehe. like i said nga, minsan eh superficial din ako. and i try my best to fight it and look deeper into that person. like my lola use to say, hindi lahat ng bagay na kumikinang eh ginto. madalas pa nga eh tanso. dba 😉

  12. Chris Cade · March 3, 2009

    I love the coffee story too and thought you might enjoy this 🙂

    • sardonicnell · March 5, 2009

      thanks chris, i appreciate the link. love the video!

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