Photo credit: Robin Malmanger

By Dave Markwell

A few months ago, I listened to a podcast about a guy who ran around the world thanking “every” person involved in making the cup of coffee he enjoyed one morning. He flew to South America and thanked the bean grower and processors. He went to Europe and thanked the designer of packaging equipment. He thanked the guy who made the bag the beans traveled in and the shipper who organized its transport. He drove to the midwest and thanked the cup maker and even the guy who invented the little tab on the lid of his cup. He dug deep and discovered how incredibly complicated his simple cup of coffee was, and how many people were involved in his ability to better enjoy a nice morning sitting at his kitchen table with his young daughter. The gratitude of his exchanges with the various players was touching.

This warm, neat story of connection showcased the ties that bind us all. In ways that are easy to overlook or take for granted, we are connected and count on each other, whether we know it, or each other, at all. This story stands as a sweet reminder of the human beings who, in the course of living their lives, contribute to ours. It’s a small, big world.

Some days of my week on my walk by the water, I stop and sit on a bench thinking and writing and feeling things. With a little different insight, I look at the breakwater and boats and docks and a sidewalk. These things were made by many people. The bench I sit on consists of recycled car tires. I think about the miles traveled by the countless people who at one time relied on the chips of rubber to take them to their destination. I imagine wonderful stories and see happy people. I don’t know them, but I thank them for their miles, and their place in my travels.

In the complex circuitry of a moving world, the most basic and common denominator is people. They/we make it happen. In little and big ways, we all add a piece to the whole, making it more whole. So, on a gray morning sitting in a chair made by someone else, I feel grateful and connected and a small part of a big, beautiful thing. It’s called “life”, and it’s lovely.

Dave Markwell is a life-long Des Moines liver and lover. Former owner of Waterland CrossFit and the Waterland Arcade, Dave is now using his unique story-telling voice to help small businesses tell a better story, and his love for people to help folks live bigger and better lives.

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Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...