Once, a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and full of problems. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed as if just when one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled 3 pots with water and placed each one on a high fire. Once the 3 pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. After 20 minutes, he turned off the burners, and put the potatoes and eggs in separate bowls, and poured the coffee in a cup.
Turning to his daughter, he asked, “What do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.”
She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“What does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently to the situation. The potatoes went in strong and hard, but in boiling water became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior, until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water itself and created a new liquid.
“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”