I like cups. And even more so, cups with saucers.
I particularly love cups of tea. I drink lots of tea. However, I don’t have anyone who brings me tea and who tastes my tea before I drink it in case it’s been poisoned. Dramatica. (ok, wait, sometimes people do bring me tea, but they don’t taste it. At least, I don’t think they do?)
Some people are cupbearers.
It’s a thing. I promise. It’s just not always called that these days…
Back in the days of old, cupbearers were officers of high rank, in royal courts. It was their duty to bring food and drink before the royal table, specifically guarding against poison in the king’s cup(hence the name), on account of all the constant fears of plots and deception. The cupbearer would therefore have to take a swig of the King’s wine before the King would drink…
A cupbearer(as you can imagine) would have to have been regarded as VERY trustworthy. Um, YEAH[sarcasm font]
The downside to this job was: you could die. The upside: you could live. Sweet! And, the relationship with the King usually meant that the cupbearer had a position of incredible influence. The role of cupbearer was highly valued, and only given to a select few throughout history.
‘Qualifications’ for the job included being beautiful(ha! Those were the days when you could actually put that on the application form..), but more so, modesty, confidentiality, loyalty, and courage.
Cupbearers used to ‘take the bullet’ so to speak. Without them, the King wouldn’t eat, or drink.
So, the question(or one of the many I have) that sits with me today is this: Who do we ‘bear cups’ for today? Who is your ‘King’? Whose wine would you taste to protect them from a potential threat? Who are you devoted to? REALLY devoted to? And loyal towards?
AT ANY PERSONAL COST.
Do they know? Do they trust you? Do you have their ear? Are you sold out to them?
It’s an influential position. You can change someone’s direction when you have their ear. Don’t hold that power lightly…