Coffee shops are a central — and neutral — place to meet your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. It seems that the coffee shop may be the successor of the general store in that it is now the place for people to gather informally to gossip and check in. But coffee shops are more than that: they are a hotbed of creativity. And it is this fact that makes me believe in their absolute necessity in a vibrant community.
It is in coffee shops where friends can catch up and strangers can get to know each other and new connections and new ideas can be formed and acted upon. It is in coffee shops that people can learn about what’s going on in their community, through conversation, the bulletin board, and even the sometimes acceptable art of eaves-dropping.
And it is in coffee shops where creatives can get inspired. It is for this reason that an article in Elephant Journal places working in a café or coffee shop as number one on the list of “3 Surprising Things That Will Increase Your Productivity at-Work by 30 percent Each.” (The other two, if you’re interested, are taking a dog to work and meditating/slowing down).
The article suggests that you “invite chaos — and good coffee — and community into your life. It’ll make you happier, more awake (in both the caffeinated and spiritual sense). Why? Because your mind needs gaps, not just focus, for creativity. Certain things require focus. But too much focus, and the mind grows tired, depressed, inward-looking instead of fun, resourceful, visionary.”
And why is creativity important to a community? Because creative thinking and visualization is how things change and grow. And it is when creative thinkers gather that revolutions happen.
This is an excerpt from my article originally posted at rutlandreader.com.
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Workshops offered in Rutland, Vermont at The Writers' Room at Allen House. Also available for trainings and guest speaking. Visit my Blog, Wisdom Within, Ink for thoughts on writing to an authentic life.