January is slow and easy.
This year we were blessed with most Goulburn cafes staying open between Christmas and New Year, instead of closing for a break.
Enjoying the company of others is a very human thing.
We are at our best in a group or community that is kind and respectful.
If you think about it, good cafés excel in the things that bring human happiness: a sense of welcome and hospitality, the power of a friendly smile, a place to belong.
In cafés we discuss issues, share problems and celebrate events.
In the course of a year, our cafés play host to the life of the community in all it’s diversity. They bring us together.
I’ve watched café staff display exceptional people skills, helping those with disabilities get comfortable or reassuring a weeping child over a spilt milkshake.
January will end and I admit to being apprehensive about what lies ahead. Last year was not a good one for Australia.
Upcoming elections will put us under a lot of pressure.
Some candidates will try to make us afraid of change and of each other. They will attempt to buy our vote.
Campaign slogans will play loose with the facts and treat us like fools.
We’ll see lots of Akubra, hi-viz vests, baseball caps, even a flash of lycra across our screens.
I suggest we remember January and apply “the café test” to all that pressure.
Let’s say “no thanks” then look carefully for candidates who are worthy of our children, our community connectedness and our vote.