Two months ago I began my journey of starting something that matters with a long, tedious trek up switchback mountain roads and down muddy paths to a small, privately owned coffee farm. At that point, I honestly didn’t know what sparked this fire inside of me, but I knew that it was something that I needed to follow even if it was done blindly. The dictionary defines the word understand as an individual’s ability to be sympathetically or knowledgeably aware of the character or nature of something. In this context, understanding someone or something means that an individual must take on, or experience, the thing or person’s life as their own.
Understanding in a world with such a significant language barrier has opened my eyes to how precious communication truly is. Back home, stories and experiences are publicly displayed on social media giving people the opportunity to live vicariously through others. I have never doubted that a tweet is worth 140 characters or a picture a thousand words, but experiencing something firsthand is priceless.
This opportunity of living in an area where I am unable to speak the language has come as a blessing in disguise. During my visit to the coffee farm, the mother of the family graciously invited me to sit and eat lunch under a small, bamboo shack that was constructed to protect the family members from the weather. Words were not exchanged, yet it was evident that each person sharing that meal together was sympathetically aware of the character and nature of one another. Honestly, not being able to speak with one another made this moment truly unforgettable.
No matter how successful Kao Jai Coffee may or may not be, living a life that is aware, curious, and sympathetic helps me better understand not only others, but myself as well. Sharing helps show others, but never forget that experiencing leads to understanding.
For more info check out: www.kaojaicoffee.com