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Valuing the human element: Or what makes any of this worthwhile

So much of what is in the air lately speaks to a disconnect between people. Lack of empathy, compassion, kindness, and respect are everywhere causing suffering to so many. It's overwhelming. 

In the face of this sometimes helpless feeling, it's worth returning to what we can control. Ourselves, and how we want to be in the world. As business owners, Highwire is an extension of who we are and our values reflect how we want to be in the world. 

Rich, Eric and I want Highwire to be the kind of place where people can do what they love for a living and be supported and respected for it. We know that the best coffee (like anything that brings real pleasure) comes from caring. Caring on the part of each person in the long chain of coffee production. From the farmer to the person who prepares and/or drinks it. The teacher and the student. The craftsperson and the customer. The employer and employee. Mindlessness, selfishness, cynicism, or laziness can ruin everyone else's work and the opportunity for connection, pride and pleasure are lost for that moment.

We inhabit the role of a professional and care enough to become good at what we do for a living. This serves the larger goal of pleasure and creating small moments of connection around a cup of coffee or tea. Every day for every customer and each other. When we succeed this is deeply rewarding.

We value the human element of everything we do.  We ask this of ourselves and those who work with us. To be brave and vulnerable enough to care. To invest ourselves in getting better at our work. To see the person across the counter and recognize our shared humanity. To make each other feel safe and supported. To experience moments of connection. These things make our work feel worthwhile and are a fragile balance that we work to maintain. 

It is painful to read recent stories of once-admired figures' transgressions and the suffering of their victims. It is also painful to see the vengeful glee of others who see an opportunity in the suffering. It is my wish that each of us uses these moments of learning for humble self-reflection, healing, and support for those who are in pain. To see and connect with each other as humans worthy of compassion and respect. The whole reason we're here in the first place.

 

 

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