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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Potatoes, Eggs and Coffee

(This story has been told different ways but the message is still the same. It’s told much better through an example than I could do it.  Why mess with a good thing? Enjoy the wisdom in this simple story)

Once upon a time, a young woman was having breakfast with her father. As they ate, she complained, "Dad, my life is miserable! I don't know how I'm going to make it in life, and I'm tired of fighting and struggling all the time. Every time I feel like I've moved past one problem, another one comes along. I don't think I can take this much longer."

Her father, a retired chef, took her hand and led her to the kitchen. He then filled three pots with water, and placed each of them on a high fire. When the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in the first pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. Without saying a word, he stood there and let the contents of the three pots boil. The young woman waited impatiently, wondering what he was doing. "Maybe he is still hungry, and is cooking some more breakfast." she said to herself.

Finally, after half an hour of boiling, he turned the burners off. He first took out the potatoes from the first pot and placed them in a clean bowl. Then, he took the eggs out of the second pot and placed them in another bowl. Finally, he poured himself a fresh cup of coffee.  He laid these three items on the counter top and asked his daughter, "What do you see?"
"Potatoes, eggs, and coffee." she replied.

"Look closer," he said, “and touch the potatoes." She touched them and noticed that they were very soft. "Now take an egg and break it." he continued. She cracked the egg open and saw that the egg was hard-boiled all the way through. Finally, he said "Take a sip of this coffee." The rich aroma of the freshly brewed coffee brought a smile to her face.

"Dear, the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans all faced the same heat of the boiling water. However, each of the three reacted differently." he explained. "The potatoes went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but the boiling water made them soft and weak. The egg protected its fragile liquid interior with a thin hard shell, but the boiling water made the egg hard on the inside. Notice what happened when the coffee beans were placed in the boiling water – they changed the water into something aromatic and delicious.

"Which one are you?" he challenged his daughter, "When you go through the fire and heat in life, are you a potato, egg or coffee bean?"

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