Cup of coffee


Value- Right Conduct

Sub value-Selfless Service



Cup of coffeeI sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighboring town of Venice(Italy), the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.’ We were piqued to hear this order and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee though he paid for two.

No  sooner than he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying ‘A Cup of Coffee’.  While we were still there, two more men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had the two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, ‘A Cup of Coffee’. It was something unique and perplexing for us. We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

Many days later, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again. As we were enjoying our coffee, a poorly dressed man came in and  he seated himself; he looked at the wall and said, ‘One cup of coffee from the wall’.

The waiter served coffee to this poor man with the customary respect and dignity. The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin. Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.

Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted… He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him. He only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.


When we want to really help someone and make a difference, we must do it selflessly. Do a kind act so that the person in need does not have to lower his self esteem while seeking for help. It just happens that sometimes we are in a better position to help someone, so we must try to do it discretely without allowing our egos to raise or blowing our own trumpets. Let us do a kind act not with some expectation, but just do it because that is the right thing to do.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 13 August 2015 | Premaarpan

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