Filling Someone Else’s Cup

The waitress brought a fresh pot of tea, and Marty refilled his father’s cup and poured a cup for Samantha.  Henry in turn filled Marty’s.  It was a tradition Henry cherished–never filling your own cup, always filling that of someone else, who would return the favor.

 Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford

Recently I related the story of the book that I didn’t buy but days later received as a gift.

I have picked this book up every time I’ve had a chance.  The story is told beautifully but I find that I am slowing down as I approach the end.  I don’t want it to be over and yet I understand this author has written at least one more book so all is not lost.

My knowledge of the treatment of Japanese Americans during the 1940s in our country has been very limited to this point.  Reading this novel is helping me to get a tiny glimpse of the sorrow and loss felt by the Asian population and yet it is not a sad book.

I started this post with a quote from the book.  I reread these lines multiple times when I first came across them.  It illustrates to me a cultural tradition of which I was unaware.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Filling someone else’s cup and, in turn, having yours filled by someone else.

I think it goes deeper than three people sharing a pot of tea.  It speaks to me of deferring to another person, putting the other person ahead of myself.  How different our world would be if we all did that!

Oh wait!  How different MY world would be if I did that.

What book have you read that has given you a positive glimpse into someone else’s culture?

Gratefulness Matters!


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