Mayan-CalendarThere are a lot of things that need to come to an end – the world, however, not being one of them. Seeing as we all woke up with the blessing of another day on December 21, 2012, perhaps it is time to reconsider competition in the tea industry for what it truly is – FEAR.  The success of the tea industry may well depend on a shift in our perception.

Since Starbucks’ purchase of Teavana, there has been a great deal of talk in our industry – some positive and some definitely coming from fear. We all have the ability to see the acquisition in any way we choose – and yes, the Constitution of this country allows us to express our views freely – but why not bypass the negativity and view EVERYTHING from an elevated position – dare I even say from an enlightened position?

It is time to end the fear and negativity of competition in the tea industry and welcome the spirit of collaboration. Occasions such as Starbucks’ acquisition of Teavana present us all with the ability to rise above our own petty concerns. We can bad-mouth companies, corporations, and individuals, or we can go about our tea business in a healthy, happy, and productive way – remembering why we got into it in the first place. For most of us, it is because we LOVE tea! Fear is the opposite of love. When we focus on the positive aspects, prosperity comes to everyone. I promise you – the pie is big enough for all of us.

A mind in harmony says, “Sit down, I’ll pour us a cup of tea.” It does not say, “Did this tea come from Teavana, Starbucks, Tazo, or somewhere else?” It simply accepts the gift in the spirit in which it was given. An open heart is what we all need – love is what we all need.

We each can have a piece of the pie and be happy and prosperous – the tea industry needs ALL of us! Everyone brings their own skills, personality, passion, and commitment to their tea business – so let them! You do your thing and let them do their thing – and a whole lot of tea will be poured and the world will be a better place because of it – because of YOU – and because of THEM.

“Who would then deny that when I am sipping tea in my tearoom I am swallowing the whole universe with it and that this very moment of my lifting the bowl to my lips is eternity itself transcending time and space?”
– D.T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture