A group of graduates got together to visit their old university professor.
The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and a variety of cups—porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, some exquisite—telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said,
"If you have noticed, all the nice-looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. "
"Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. "
"What all of you really want is coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.
"Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups! Don't let the cups drive you ... enjoy the coffee instead."