When the first café opened in Oxford in the mid-seventeenth century, it was a place of business open to people of all walks of life, of all classes, of all opinions. In these coffee shops, men discussed everything from politics to philosophy, and so the café tradition was born.
Today, if you visit your local café, you’ll most likely find small groups of friends chatting around a table on which rests their fancy beverages. In the mornings, the working folks walk in and out, all relieved to succumb to their caffeine addiction. Then there are those who remain by themselves in the establishment for hours, either reading a book or working on their computers. Not much has changed in the café tradition from the 1600s, for every kind of person is welcome in a coffee shop.
If you stay there long enough, you’ll find that relationships will develop between you and the others who remain for hours. Occasionally, someone might walk up to you, asking if you’ll be kind enough to keep an eye on their computer while they use the facilities. If you’re reading a book someone else enjoys, they may ask you how you like it. While the coffee shop may not host political debates and truly profound philosophical discussions at all hours of the day, it still fosters a community in which all ideas are welcome.
This beautiful idea inspired my blog. May this site be a place where all readers and writers, all people of all walks, feel welcome and safe enough to contribute their ideas. I do my best to write about everything I think about, and I welcome everyone’s comments. Come on in, and don’t be shy. I’ll trade you a cup of coffee for your thoughts!
Response to the Daily Prompt, All About Me.