Meat, egg, and coffee beans
Or, how to handle life's adversities
A young man was suffering from a series of misfortunes: he lost his job, broke
off with his girlfriend, and injured his arm playing basketball. Feeling
depressed, he sought his mother for comfort and advice.
"Mother, I have done everything I should do to be a good person and to be
successful but it seems like life is a constant struggle. I'm beset with one
misfortune after another. I'm tired and I feel so hopeless," he said.
His mother did not say a word but motioned him to follow her into the kitchen.
She took out three pots, filled them halfway with water, put each on top of a
burner, and turn the burners on high. Soon the water came to a boil.
On the first pot she dropped a piece of meat, on the second pot she dropped
an egg, and on the third she dropped newly ground coffee beans. After a few
minutes she fished out the meat and the egg into a dish, and poured the coffee
into a cup. Then she asked him, "Son, tell me what do you see?"
"I see a meat, an egg, and a cup of coffee," he replied.
His mother brought him closer and asked him to take a bite each from the
meat and the egg, and to take a sip from the cup of coffee. Then she asked
him how each one felt to his taste.
"The meat was soft and tender, the egg was hard, and the coffee has a rich
aroma on it," he answered. Then he asked, "What is your point, Mother?"
"Life is like water, and the boiling bubbles are like our adversities in life. People
react to their adversities differently in the same way that the meat, the egg, and
the coffee beans reacted differently to the boiling water," his mother explained.
"The meat was tough but came out soft and the egg was fragile but came out
hard. They were changed by the boiling water in opposite ways. On the other
hand, the coffee beans reacted differently - it changed the boiling water and
gave it its unique taste and aroma that people love," she added.
How do you handle adversity? Does adversity change you like the meat, or the
egg? Or, are you like the coffee beans which turned its adversity, the boiling
water, to its advantage?
Are you the meat that seemed tough but wilt and lose strength under adversity?
Or the egg that was fragile but got stronger inside under adversity? Or, are you
like the coffee beans which, instead of changing, turned around that adversity
for the good and benefit of other people?
Whoever you are, do not let a boiling water harm you. Learn to handle it. Learn
to face adversity.