Chai Relativity

Here is a quick disclaimer: I have never been into journals or blogs and have never felt a need to record my thoughts. However, recently I’ve been finding myself with too many thoughts than the 140 character limit that I am allotted per tweet can encompass. So I created this blog to process my thoughts and hopefully make some sense to others. I hope I don’t make a fool of myself-fingers crossed.

My most recent obsession (as of right before Christmas break 2010) is drinking tea. I think I admire the stereotypical character of “the tea drinker” more than I enjoy the actual tea. The tea drinker is calm, relaxed and generally kind at heart. The tea drinker cares more about others that they do themselves and they stray from negative words. This is obviously my personal perception of a tea drinker and is incredibly stereotypical and biased so hopefully this does not offend anyone. Anyways, on my quest to become a tea drinker myself I stumbled upon what would soon become the new outlet for my caffeine addiction: CHAI. Chai tea is readily accessible and yet I consider it a delicacy in my every day life. Dictionary.com has 11 definitions for the word delicacy, but I have chosen two that I feel are accurate in regards to my relationship with chai.

1 Sensuous indulgence; luxury.

2 something delightful or pleasing, especially a choice food considered with regard to its rarity, costliness.

Now, obviously you see the words “rarity” and “costliness” and say to yourself-but you can find chai tea at any average grocery store, how could you consider it a delicacy?. Yes, I asked myself this same question when first putting this thought into words. <Seriously Emily, you’re spewing nonsense about tea and are not even making sense in doing so.> However, then I thought about it more; those words are both relative. Relativity is a concept I love to let my brain wander in. My chai tea consumption is not rare if you view it as a once a day consumption. That is, saying that I have chai tea 7 out of 7 days of the week. However, if put in terms of hours within a day, and even further minutes or seconds then I only have tea 0.5 out of 24 hours in a day, only 30 out of 1,440 minutes in a day and only 1,800 out of 86,400 seconds in a day. Now my tea drinking looks a little more infrequent. Let’s go a ways more just because I have the time and obviously you do too if you are reading this. I only have tea 3.5 out of 168 hours in a week, 15.5 out of 744 hours in a 31-day month, and 182.5 out of 8,760 hours in a year. I could keep up this elementary multiplication but I think I’ve made my point. It’s all about how you look at the individual situation. This goes for the cost as well. The $2.49 that I pay for a chai tea latte at Gordon Commons is not very costly if you compare it to all of the $70-$190 pairs of Ugg boots on the UW-Madison campus. Yet if compared to the $0.25 that you pay for a gumball, then for one chai tea latte I could get almost ten gumballs. However then my Economics 101 training comes in to play. The satisfaction I would give up in buying those 10 gumballs is nothing compared to the satisfaction I receive from one chai tea latte. Therefore, the cost is worth it.
At this point you have either stopped reading or are holding on waiting for my point in writing this obnoxiously long post. Well here it is- all things are relative. This is a simple truth that you have probably heard before. However, I then challenge you to think twice about how you perceive things. Significance is relative as it applies to the individual-it’s situational and personal. To each his own, right?
My tea drinking and it’s relativity to rareness and cost may not be directly comparable to the relativity of  a situation, however it does convey how many different ways you can look at situations. This will lead nicely into my next blog topic which I plan to write on the importance of understanding cultural background and upbringing in order to connect while evangelizing. Every individual comes from a different childhood, home life and world view-just a taste of what is to come.
To finish awkwardly as I’m sure I will almost always do, I am now a regular tea drinker and although I had a predisposed idea of who “the tea drinker” is and how they act, I would like to clarify that I more or less feel the same. I suppose this fits with the situational aspect of relativity. Being outside the tea drinker world caused me to perceive the tea drinker with a certain persona. Yet now that I am a tea drinker I have realized that a lot of the qualities I admired in my tea drinker were things that I wanted for myself and was using the tea as a bridge to. I wish I would have seen that before I increased my caffeine consumption by adding my daily chai tea. What can you do, realizations come from experiences
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