“It looks as if my problems are never going to end. Just as one problem gets solved, another one soon follows. I am sick and tired of fighting and struggling all the time.” Neeta, a 19 year old college student, complained.
Neeta’s father, Suresh Kumar, runs a restaurant in the neighbourhood. He had just returned home after a long and tiring day. He listened patiently to his daughter and sensed urgency in her voice.
“Come with me.” Suresh Kumar told Neeta and took her to the kitchen.
Suresh Kumar filled three pots with water and placed each on high flame. Once the pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in the first pot, eggs in the second and ground coffee beans in the third.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.
Turning to her 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.
“Take an egg and break it.” He said.
After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
“Now have a sip of coffee.” He told.
The rich aroma of the coffee finally brought a smile to Neeta’s face.
“What does this mean papa?” she asked.
“The potatoes, eggs and ground coffee beans each faced the same adversity – the boiling water.” He explained. “However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong and hard but in boiling water, they 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 and created something new.
“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? “
In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?