Mochatern Monday 2.1.16: “What if…”

Happy February, Mocha Club!

And, Happy Mochatern Monday! This is the beginning of my fourth week, here; at Mocha Club, and in one month’s time I have engaged in several different tangible, learning experiences. For example, last Tuesday a couple of members of the Mocha Club team, and myself explored Brand IMG_1810Imaging Group (a company that helps Mocha Club by producing tablecloths and signs for certain events), and we saw some of things that they create like massive stickers, signs, and advertisements that we would typically see on buses, or benches, or outside of football stadiums. I had never even thought about how buses, for example, get images printed on them, and since last week every time I see one, I tell my friends, that is a sticker! It is a giant sticker, and someone had to create it large enough, to then wrap it around that bus without any of those annoying air bubbles. No one has yet to be as amused.

Within the Mocha Club office, my experiences thus far have ranged from answering the phone and speaking with Mocha Club members, to sitting in on creatively driven meetings about how best to show you all that your participation in Mocha Club is generating change in Africa. I also secretly love putting together packages for people that order from the Mocha Club store. I like organizing the things neatly into the package holder, and printing out the address sticker. I never think about the people on the other end of online orders, as if my clothes are magically placed into those clear receptacles they have at the bank drive thru and are teleported to my house. I think about those people a lot now, particularly the person that packages the hundreds of books I order from Amazon each month. I hope they’re doing well.

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The other day I was talking to a friend of mine about how much I could get done if a day was 72 hours instead of 24. She, of course, reminded me that an actual day is really only 12 hours long, and so I cut a few things and got my desired day down to 36 hours. I could do so much if a day was 36 hours long. Class would only be a fraction of my day, and I could work so far ahead that I wouldn’t have to do homework for another month. I could read more books, bike more places, have more time to dedicate to my friends, and I would probably be able to see the floor of my room. Also, hello, who does not want 36 hours of sleep? However, I know now, after being talked down by my very rational friend, that if 36 hour days were a reality I would be just as warped into a time frenzy as I am now- sleep-deprived, holding tightly to my friends when we have time together, rapidly switching from one subject matter to the other, and somehow managing to spill coffee on each one of my papers. 36 hours would seem too short.

I’ve always been extremely consumed by these “what-if” scenarios. What if I wasn’t born in Alabama, but rather Nevada, and I had two brothers instead of a sister? What if my name was Mallory, and I was really good at math? What if the sky was the ground, and the ground was the sky? What if cars had never been invented, and we had to walk everywhere? And, then what would happen to all the space occupied by interstates? The usual response to these questions is always constructed in the same way. Then you would be from Nevada, your name would be Mallory, and you probably would have taken calculus. As for the sky, ground scenario, we have no idea, but you would probably just walk, and the interstates would be housing developments or shopping centers. And, of course, I know the answer before I even ask the question. If all of these “ifs” were true, then they would be my reality, and I would accept them rather than ruminate on them, moving on to thinking about if my name was Austill and I was from Alabama.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the “what-ifs” that I have created in my life, and how I can make them more constructive and less whimsical, considering the time I dedicate to them. And, so, I defined a constructive “what-if” as a thought-provoking question, that if answered could spur on effective change. It’s the idea of thinking thoughtfully, and using our minds to conceptualize things that are probable, positive, and perpetual. What if I offered to help that older man put his groceries in his car? What if I let a stressed looking person go in front of me in the coffee line? And, then, there are the great constructive “what-ifs.” These are the “what-ifs” that are conceived in ill lit dorm rooms, garages, and on long car rides. They are the “what-ifs” that become ideas that become possibilities that become entities that promote actions that ensue phenomena. And, of course, from a very great and very constructive “what-if,” we got Mocha Club.


What if there was a community of people, who donated monthly to an organization that’s goal was to serve Africa? What if these people believed that their small sacrifices collectively made big impacts? What if, because of this community, we could bring clean water to orphans, health care to the sick, and education to all? What if serving Africa was something we could actually do?

And, so, here we are, here you are, here I am – an intern existing within a thriving, constructive “what if” statement. We should never stop toying with the what’s and the ifs that well up in our minds, but we can weed through the more personal and fantastical ones, tapping into something that we can use to foster change in our world. Great things are born out of the smallest notions, the inkling or the tick that indicates that we are on the brink of something preeminent. What if you had an idea that could change the world?

What if you took the time to make a small, positive change on this Monday?

Thank you for reading!

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