You can make great changes in your world by doing simple, small acts of kindness. Mother Teresa once said, “God does not command that we do great things, only little things with great love.” Guisepi, from FreeTeaPary.org is a perfect example of Mother Teresa’s words – and he’s doing so, one cup of tea at a time.
The concept of “free tea parties” grew organically out of a lifestyle Guisepi was living. He always enjoyed a good cup of tea, but in early 2005, he started sharing his tea with others from the tailgate of the truck he was living in. By offering a little bit of food and tea with people on the street, great conversations and interactions took place that bridged the gap of so many stereotypes, colors of skin, and educational backgrounds that normally would never intermingle with each other.
Guisepi’s original intention was merely to throw tea parties wherever he traveled as a way to interact with the communities he visited. It was cheap and easy to do, but most importantly, it was fun. After some time, friends and tea party attendees began to share their thoughts about how incredible these parties really were. They saw people walk away from his truck with more love, hope and ideas on how to make a positive difference in the world.
Today, tea is served out of his Tea Bus that he calls, “Special Edna”, which is a short, yellow school bus. Its perfect size allows him to parallel park on major streets and has better fuel economy than if he owned a larger bus. “Special Edna” is his home and he graciously shares his traveling abode with anyone who cares to have a cup of tea with him.
Serving free tea is nothing new to humanity. “Much of the world already incorporates free tea parties into their everyday lives.” says Guisepi, “ Whether it’s at the top of the Himalayas after a long journey by foot, sharing a yerba mate in Argentina, or an afternoon snack in the UK, free tea parties are one of the oldest and most universal interactions amongst people around the world that still exists.”
Guisepi has friends who throw their own versions of tea parties and he thinks it is great. One man he met in San Francisco was so thrilled with the idea that he decided to fulfill his longtime dream of serving free stew to people. “Not to be too cheesy, but it isn’t bout the tea or a school bus – it’s about real human connections, sharing ideas, self-expression and being free people” he explains.
If you’ve never attended a Free Tea Party, I highly suggest you do. Either attending one of Guisepi’s parties or hosting your own – it is truly an experience you’ll never forget.
I was fortunate enough to experience one of his Free Tea Parties while he had his Tea Bus parked on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood, California. I spent about 3 hours inside his bus, enjoying a hot cup of tea and endless conversation with people from all over the world. It was one of the purest experiences of humanity at its best – strangers living in the present moment, but feeling more like family.