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The Telegram
  • Frank Talk: Cup doesn’t runneth over

  • Communal ties may be less evident in an age when communication is instantaneous, global in reach, and very often pointless to a degree unprecedented in the history of human interaction.

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  • Communal ties may be less evident in an age when communication is instantaneous, global in reach, and very often pointless to a degree unprecedented in the history of human interaction.
    But such ties do still exist and need to be nurtured.
    The human spirit flourishes in the acknowledgment of its fellows, and the shared needs of humankind: affection, enlightenment, and 24-hour access to ESPN.
    Sometimes, however, in our fast-paced world, we can overlook our communal obligations.
    We let our peers down.
    Perhaps we don’t mean to rend the social fabric that provides society with the shared comforter of mutual warmth and support.
    But rend we do, leaving a draft that could give one of our peers a nasty sinus infection in his or her psyche.
    Have I recently witnessed an example of such behavior, a lack of reverence to our communal obligations, an act of devotion to self that besmirches the concept of the family of man?
    Heck, yeah.
    Let me be clear.
    I do not know the identity of the malefactor in this deeply disturbing incident.
    Nor do I intend to spend the next several years of my life in a monomaniacal investigation into this individual’s identity.
    His or her barbarous act may have been totally unintentional.
    Or perhaps it was simply misguided, committed without a thought to its awful implications for man’s future ability to co-exist with his fellow man.
    We can only hope that this was not a deliberate attack on the ideals that make up the social compact that distinguishes our lives from early man’s short, brutish existence.
    But now I must be specific, with my nerves somewhat calmed in the course of the several hours that have passed since I first encountered this anti-communal act.
    It revolves around the office coffeemaker, as important a centralized point of shared experience in the office environment as a hunter-gatherer clan’s nightly campfire in the wilderness.
    And like the hunter-gatherers’ shared responsibility to provide wood to keep the fire burning through the night, the office worker must be cognizant of his or her role in assuring that the coffeemaker will burn brightly, so to speak, throughout the workday.
    That was why I was shocked and dismayed to repair to this bulwark of the business world first thing in the morning to find that there was far less than a cup remaining in the pot.
    The last person to pour a cup abrogated his or her responsibility to start a fresh pot.
    For shame!
    And it’s not the first time, either.
    Frank Mulligan is an editor in GateHouse Media New England’s Plymouth office, and can be reached at fmulligan@wickedlocal.com.
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