Often I go to Starbucks or other venues as a place to do homework. It's better than sitting inside for 12 hours as I read, write, and go to the refrigerator for yet another snack. (My excuse to take a break from homework.)
Every week I discover the same thing — people go to Starbucks to be with other people! Big surprise . . .
Everyone is looking for interaction, whether it's the math teacher sitting across from me grading papers or that old man waiting for someone to glance in his direction so he can talk. (Warning! Avoid these people if you have an assignment due.)
People often go to Starbucks and stay because they long for in person, human interaction. I think this is because human interaction is often pushed aside as we obsess over productivity. One task after another is accomplished; yet, frustration sinks in when every item on the “to do” list isn’t finished. Right?
While going about this daily routine there is no time for people. In reality one of the things most longed for is interaction with another person. All of us are yearning for human interaction and many people go to Starbucks, among other places, just to try and quench their thirst for interaction with a random stranger.
At the heart of the disconnect and pain people feel is a lack of solid human interaction. The joy of a conversation or the gratefulness of working through the pain of a difficult situation with a friend.
It reminds me of the following passage from Luke 10:38-42 about Martha and Mary:
Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Is life about tasks or is it about people? All tasks should always look to the human person as the meaning, whether it be the person receiving a service or coworkers throughout the day.