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Starbucks Green Unity Cup Controversy


In the Balance

November 6 · Issue #1 · View online

Steve's news and views, articles, and other writing.

If you hadn’t heard, Starbucks has been getting obliterated on social media for this year’s holiday cup … which isn’t actually their holiday cup. That’s coming out soon; it’s red with holly and berries. But people didn’t stop to ask whether this was the holiday cup. They assumed, and then they got angry. And in their anger, they claimed that Starbucks is somehow attacking Christmas by having an image of unity on the cup instead of some wintry design (like they usually do).
First of all, if there were ever a time when we needed to encourage unity, when we needed to bring people back together, it is now. We’ve been so divided by this election, and I’m concerned that we’re giving away our power by hating one another, by being unable to have civil conversations even in the midst of disagreements.
I believe if we want to make America great again, that comes from the people being great. From the people looking out for one another, and actually voting for leaders not based on personality or gender, and not based on personal benefits that one would gain from them being elected. We need to look to the good they would do for ALL the people of the country and vote on that. Even if we disagree on who would accomplish that.
Because I do believe we create our reality more than we know, and that when we stop voting for personal interests, we will stop getting politicians who are self interested. That’s my philosophy.
And that’s why I think that Starbucks is right. That they came out with the right cup at the right time. Unfortunately, we’re getting the sort of angry response that I’m seeing in any sort of political discussion these days. How dare Starbucks put a lovely sentiment on their cups when it’s not the image or sentiment that this person or that person wants.
Here’s the crazier thing: besides the fact that Starbucks never puts a Christian image or message on their holiday cups, I can’t think of anything that more richly captures the essence of Christmas than a message of unity. Short of actually showing a manger with baby Jesus, an image of unity seems inherently Christian … or at least the Christianity that I’m familiar with. Christ came to express the most unifying force of all, that of divine love.
So why all the hate on the cup? The only people who could be hating on a non-Christmas cup, I would think, would be Christians. And to me, this is too ironic … followers of Christ hating on someone for a beautiful message.
Well this comes back to each of us, regardless of religion. We save the world with one right choice at a time. And through this election and the months to come, I hope we can all push ourselves to be just a little more forgiving, a little more loving, a little more giving … with ourselves, and with those around us. Let’s overcome the divide we’re seeing. We are the healers of this divide.

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