Everyday Words

Quality, not quantity

March 26, 2004

The day was cold and wet and my task list very long so I was happy when I could finally settle in for the night. I opened up one of the tins of tea that I just purchased and was so enamoured with the beauty of the artwork and packaging and the smell of the Vanilla Rooibos. But what also charmed me was the little saying that they enclosed on a card.

It read:

“T (the company) embodies our freedom to choose the very best for ourselves. Through the act of making a cup of tea and taking a moment to appreciate its aroma before taking a sip, we learn to value the simple luxuries of life. By recognizing art and beauty in everyday life, we find harmony with our world and disocver that peace can be found in a teacup.”

Yes, it’s a company trying to promote the drinking of their tea but this philosophy is something I so completely believe in. That the little things are so what matter. The being content with a moment of just sipping tea or smelling it’s aroma, well, that’s beautiful to me. So is the choosing the very best for ourselves, which we sometimes don’t think we can do.

I remember speaking to my friend Andrea about this, about how I will indulge myself in good things though I don’t buy a lot of things. For example, I will buy a skirt at my favourite store which costs quite a bit but then I only own two skirts, not a closet full, so I can afford to do this and I generally only buy a bit of clothes twice a year. I buy expensive tea but I don’t buy gadgets and knick knacks so my money can be spent on something like luxurious tea. Andrea said to me that this made sense and said something I think a lot of people can relate to.

She said:

I have been experimenting with it myself. It’s funny. I will go to the used clothing store and buy 3 old shirts that are cute, but not exactly what I want… What I don’t realize sometimes is that those 3 shirts cost the same as the ONE perfect shirt that I DO want. Sometimes my budgeting logic makes absolutely no sense, but I feel a certain freedom, guilt free shopping feeling in the second hand store that I like.

I often think what if people bought less things that they don’t really need, and more quality things that they really want. What if people bought less things they think they should have to be happy, and enjoyed more the simple things that cost nothing at all. I think perhaps the sniffing of tea wouldn’t be such a crazy idea, as would spending a bit more on something that gives such pleasure and beauty to every day life.