I have not met anyone who put ketchup in their coffee, but I know of people who put butter in their coffee. My fav uncle did! For a long time I did not know why he did that. But being a kid, I tot my uncle should know better. So one day, I started putting butter in my drink … milo!
I tried the concoction … a rich chocolaty drink now enriched with a creamy buttery goodness! My! I’m set for life, I must have thought! This is life! Milo with butter … I’m living it!
After some years, I outgrew the milo-butter thingie though once in awhile, I would still indulge myself in it. Then one day I happen to mention this to my uncle and asked him about it. He replied that it had to do with him being a smoker and how the butter with coffee helped mask the after-taste or something.
We had such a good laugh! To think that I had been putting butter into milo even though I was never a smoker and not even drinking coffee at that!
But thinking back, it didn’t really mattered for me. Putting butter into milo was my way of connecting with my fav uncle. It was what is said “The greatest flattery of all is emulation”. We like emulating others, especially people we like or look up to. Putting butter in my milo was perhaps my way of emulating my fav uncle. It was perhaps also a literal way to be in his shoes, to know what or how he thinks. On the other hand, it was also perhaps an unconscious way to tell the world that, heck, I have no idea why he did that with the butter, but I just think he is right, ‘cos he is my uncle! Not exactly rational et al, but you gotta cut people some slack some time ya? I mean, are you gonna fault butter-in-milo?
We are no mind-readers. Most of us anyway. So sometimes we like to emulate what people do so that we can appreciate better how they feel or think. Or other times we ask them about why they do things a certain way. But it cuts both ways. Just as one may ask to know more because he cannot mind-read, like-wise the person being asked of, may not understand why the fuss over the question. If only we are all mind-readers … then … wow … this world will be quite different huh? No more lies, no more second-guessing, a lot less uncertainties.
But we are no mind-readers at the moment. We can try to develop mind-reading skills. But last I check, it’s difficult at best. There is another skill that we can develop that can help here. We can learn to be more understanding, in both counts. The person who wanted to ask the question can learn to be more understanding (hmmm … but at the first place, the question is asked because he is unable to understand!?) … and perhaps be able to not have to ask at the first place? Or the person being asked the question can be more understanding of the need to clarify?
So one day, if you see a person putting ketchup in his coffee (or laws forbid, milo!), be more understanding, maybe his fav uncle or aunty did that! And for those who put ketchup in your coffee, do have the patience to explain your little story as to why ketchup in your coffee.
We need Understanding in our daily coffee and milo. That’s what we need. And if you will, a serving of ketchup and / or butter for those who may please. Enjoi your Nutty Mocha Frappé.
Nutty Mocha Frappé photo courtesy of The Connoisseur Concerto http://www.theconnoisseurconcerto.com/moby/cms/menu_gallery/index.html?.rand=kMBDQ1pB4W