Week 48: Tuesday – It Takes A Village To Make A Change


Romans 12:10-16

10 Love each other like brothers and sisters. Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves. 11 Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart. 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.

14 Wish good for those who harm you; wish them well and do not curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and be sad with those who are sad. 16 Live in peace with each other. Do not be proud, but make friends with those who seem unimportant. Do not think how smart you are.

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” – Stephen Covey

There is a tradition in Naples, Italy, that has been standing for over a hundred years. Naples is known as the place in Italy with the best coffee. The strange thing, though, is that when you sit in a local café in the middle of Naples you will see an assortment of people who come in. Beside rich looking professionals who are sipping their afternoon espresso, you will see a few people who look like vagrants. If you take a closer look and listen to the conversations between the barista and the customers, every now and then you will hear someone say, “Is there anything suspended?” No, they are not talking about school or if something is hanging overhead. What they are talking about is the tradition of “caffe sospeso” or suspended coffee. What is suspended coffee, you may ask? Luciano de Crescenzo, an Italian writer who wrote the book Suspended coffee: Daily wisdom in small sips, was recently interviewed as to what it meant.

“It was a beautiful custom,” he recalls. “When a person who had a break of good luck entered a cafe and ordered a cup of coffee, he didn’t pay just for one, but for two cups, allowing someone less fortunate who entered later to have a cup of coffee for free.”

In the 20th century, this tradition waned as Europe grew richer. However, in the past two years, this tradition has grown in prominence all over Europe. Basically, this grew from a simple philosophy of Naples that the world can do better to remember. Simply put, it was a cup of coffee offered to the rest of humanity. Simply put, it was an act of kindness between two strangers who may never meet, with the idea to just pay it forward.


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