What I learned from SodaStream

We have all heard the media reports of the sheer chutzpah of the sodastream Company to go open a factory in an economically depressed area, build a state-of-the-art factory and employ local workers. On top of that, to make matters worse, they paid the workers a decent wage, gave them excellent working conditions, and treated them fairly. The sheer horror of it all! (Of course, in New York the government offers incentives for businesses to do just that, but I digress.)

However, I am not writing about that, nor about the audacity of Scarlett Johansson to stick to her word despite bullies who demand that she step down to protest the disgusting equal treatment of the Israeli and Palestinian employees who work side by side in the best example of Middle East peace in years.

No, today, I am writing about a topic that falls much closer to home. My home, in fact.

You see, I have a sodastream machine in my home and enjoy it very much. The other evening I made a bottle of Dr. Pete, who, based on the taste, must have been a distant cousin of the Pepper family. I poured myself a glass and left the bottle and half-finished glass on the counter while I was called away for a while.

When I came back, I picked up the glass, made a Shehakol, and took a sip. Ewwww…. It was warm. I reached for the bottle (which had been sitting out just as long) and poured some more soda into my glass. This time, it was much cooler.

Why should that be? They were both out of the fridge for the same amount of time!

Now, I’m sure some erudite science-minded guy or gal will snortle at my naïveté of not knowing that the bottle is insulated while the cup is open, or that the increased volume of the soda in the bottle kept itself cooler than the cup which was more easily influenced by the warm, surrounding air, because it had less volume, but that’s precisely my point.

It occurred to me that life is a lot like that cup of sodastream. Who we are surrounded by makes a big difference in who we are and how we think.  If I’m surrounded by cynical people, who speak negatively about people, places, and things, I’m going to look coolly on others as well. I’ll lose my bubbly side and just sort of flatly follow the crowd.

If I make sure to remain in the company of people who are warm and enthusiastic about life, however, I won’t get cooled off so much myself. If I set up barriers to the negativity, like the bottle cap and walls, then I can keep the good stuff good for much longer.

This winter has given me plenty of experience with cold things. I observed that the larger banks of snow keep themselves together much longer than the thin coatings of frost on the ground. Those are gone with the first heat of the sun, while the ones that contain more snow last a while. Same lesson.

If you want to keep your cool and maintain your stature, make sure you are protected from things (like people) that will diminish you and what you stand for. That’s my life lesson for today, courtesy of sodastream.  Drink it up, people!

About the Author
Growing up a rabbi's son, Jonathan Gewirtz moved around and met people from all walks of life. A columnist and speechwriter, he draws on his experiences for his writing. As the scion of a Rabbinic family, he is passionate about the power of words and the greatness inherent in each of us.