There was once a young girl who complained to her father telling him that her life was a misery and that she didn’t think she would make it in life. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. Being so young she hadn’t experienced much of life yet – she was young yet she was tired. Once one problem was solved, another followed soon after and she wasn’t coping. Her father, being the patient man that he is, took her to the kitchen and filled three pots with water and placed them over high fire.
The water in the three pots began to boil and he placed a potato in one, an egg in another and coffee beans in the last. He then left them to boil. His daughter, of course, was very confused but the father sat still, waited, and said nothing. But, the little girl sat and waited impatiently with him, moaning and wondering what was happening. Twenty minutes passed and the father turned off the burners. “Finally”, the daughter thought. One at a time, he placed the potato into a bowl, then the egg, and ladled the coffee beans into a cup.
The father asked his daughter “What do you see?”. “A potato, and egg and coffee” she replied, notably annoyed.
The father said, “Look closer and touch the potato”. She did and realised it was soft.
Then, she cracked open the egg and observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, she was told to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted it, and was struck by the rich aroma of it.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked, confused.
He explained that all three items had gone through the very same affliction – the boiling water. But each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting but the boiling water made it soft and weak. The egg went in fragile with the shell protecting its liquid interior until the boiling water made the egg hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After being exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which one are you?” the father asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Like the potato, the egg, or the coffee beans?”
Moral: In life, things happen to us, and people around us, and we experience hardship. The only thing that matters is how we choose to react to it and what you make out of it. Life is about learning, adopting and converting all the struggles that we experience into something positive.