What If We Tried to be like Teabags?

Imagine you’re a teabag. Green tea flavoured.

You sit in the cabinet of someone’s home. Day by day you await for your owner to pick you – you watch your little tea friends get picked one by one.

There goes Mandy, she was peach. God you hated Mandy, always bragging about how fruit-flavoured ones of her kind were the first to get picked off the counter. You hated the fruits, always thinking they’re up there and crap. There wasn’t a day you’d not hear her going on about her arrogant family of teas. Annoying. Glad she’s gone.

Then there’s Tom, off he went. Unlike the fruit-flavoured ones, the floral teas were the absolute sweethearts. He in particular was Chamomile. He and his 2 other sisters got picked the following days – your owner must’ve had a few friends over, Rachel (Rose) and Lucy (Lavender) were off in a second! Floral teas were the best – demure, sweet, humble. Not like the annoying fruit teas like Mandy. Ugh. Seeing Tom, Rachel and Lucy made your heart sink for a bit. They were a quite nice bunch of teas – positive, happy.

The yellow fluorescent light peeked in later that day and you see your owner standing in front of you, she takes a good look between you and Amy – the one beside you. There goes Amy. She was Earl Grey. Lucky for her. As time passes you started you doubt your worth. That split moment of hesitation in your owner’s eyes – did she not want me? What’s wrong with me? Did no one really like, Green tea?

Days passed, friends get picked one by one, until you were the last bag left. Something went amiss. The cabinet hasn’t been opened for quite a while, you awoke from your all-too-long of a sleep and realised your owner hasn’t been drinking tea for almost weeks. What could’ve possibly gone wrong? Did she forget she had one teabag left? Could she perhaps have forgotten about me? And there you were, dejected, feeling all worthless. No one’s going to remember a measly bag of green tea, especially not when you were the last piece. She’s probably forgotten about you and left to buy a new box while you’re just going to rot in that miserable cabinet until her next spring cleaning and god knows when that will happen.

That was until one day, she opened the cabinet. Her eyes were red and puffy. She sniffed a couple of times and blew her nose into a tissue paper. Her eyes scanned for something, then she tiptoed and grab hold of the box you were in. Could this be? She lifted you up ever-so-slightly and placed you in her favourite Christmas mug that was plastered with candy canes and a couple of reindeers. You hear the kettle whistle. You braced yourself. You didn’t know what it was like to be in the mug, all you ever wanted was to get picked – you never really thought about what could happen next.

She poured hot water onto you and you winced. The pain was slight, then it grew intense. You were drowning in a pool of boiling water. You never thought getting picked was this bad, wasn’t this supposed to be a good thing? Why did it hurt this much? However, just as you were about to regret every decision in your little tea life – you hear your owner say something:

“I wish I could be like you – to be able to thrive and bring joy to others despite the pain.”

Was she talking to you? What did she mean? That was when you realised: all your little tea friends had something in common – you bring satisfaction to the one who picked you. Your discomfort and pain gave your owner that moment of peace and calm that she needed. It doesn’t matter what flavour you were, you were able to bring joy to her. And that was all you wanted.

***

Sometimes we should try to be like teabags. Think of the process of brewing tea – it metaphorically can be described as painful and even harrowing (imagine having hot water poured onto you and getting soaked in it – mad pain eh?). Through this however, the teabag is able to emit the sweet aroma of its flavour, a scent that not only calms the senses but brings peace to the mind. It releases its unique taste that diffuse into the pool of hot water and then suddenly, a mere stale teabag flowered into something beautiful, something that is of use. It became a sweet suffering, beautiful piece of mess.

Maybe we should try to be like that. When times get tough and we are placed in a situation to bear great pain and suffering, instead of giving into it we should try to use that experience and turn it into something beautiful. Use that suffering to allow us to grow, to inspire, to learn. Like the teabag it thrives in discomfort, it releases the sweet aroma that wafts around our nostrils and calms the complexity of our minds. Maybe we should be like that too when faced with hard times – to emanate positivity and aspire to turn discomfort into something beautiful.

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