The Starbucks Lesson is not what you think it is. I know, I know. You are thinking something like this:
Just about everyone is drinking coffee these days. (but not at Starbucks - that's a no-no) It's the one beverage that fits every social situation. Morning, afternoon or evening. Casual get-together or formal affair. At home with the family, in a café, coffee shop or sidewalk patio with friends. A delicious alternative to wine or beer, coffee is conducive to conversation and community. There is a style that appeals to every one's taste. Coffee puts you in a better mood. - Study by Johns Hopkins University in Boston found that caffeine made subjects more energetic, confident and ready to work. Coffee helps you stay alert - Studies how that night workers are less prone to accidents and errors if they drink coffee and drivers are less likely to have accidents. Coffee is good for your memory - A study conducted in Maastricht, Holland found that coffee can combat the forgetfulness that often accompanies aging. Coffee helps fight the common cold - Coffee can help cold sufferers recover faster by relieving the sluggish feeling colds leave behind. Coffee consumption is not linked to cardiovascular disease - Studies provide strong evidence that moderate coffee consumption is not associated with increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.
You are also probably thinking: 'Oh, I don't go to Starbucks anymore. It is irresponsible in these troubling economic times. What will people think? I shutter to think about what my financial advisor will say.'
Enough said. Whoa. Slow down. Let's think things through shall we.
I am a coffee-lover, but more importantly I am a social-girl and nothing beats having a coffee with friends, business associates or perfect strangers in a Starbucks. It is the 'new' general store where for generations locals gathered daily to mix, mingle and moan. It is the experience of a Starbucks that means so much to so many. It's the 'feeling' you get drinking a hot beverage there. It feels good. Classy. Artsy. Modern. Hip.
It is sad (very sad) that the economy is striking at the very 'drip' of our communities. Starbucks is part of that big trend that just won't quit: 'Experiences vs Stuff'. We want to experience life, activities - learn new things and meet like-minded people. We want to find our 'tribe'. Case in point, do-it-yourself seminars or climbing mountains together or travel workshops or blogging. Dinner socials and writing groups. Community gardens and yoga classes. Or how about a painting journey taught and hosted by Carole Foret (and her twin sister Claire)
I think we should do the opposite of what those Economists are suggesting. We shouldn't pull back on our daily visit to Starbucks. (read their incredible Mission Statement here.) If we do, we will suffocate and put a choke hold on our human need for 'high touch' in a very 'high tech and recession' world.
Now get dressed and go for coffee. Yes, it's alright to spend that $4 on a small indulgence that just might save the human species as we know it and the economy. (and prevent more Starbucks from closing.) Read Howard's lay-off letter to his team here. Don't be guilty. Go order that latte.
As Tara Dillard says: "Money well spent."