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Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans – A Short Story

Discover a timeless parable in ‘Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans’ that imparts valuable wisdom about resilience and personal growth.

Once upon a time, a daughter confided in her father about the hardships in her life and how she felt overwhelmed by constant struggles. It seemed that just as one challenge was overcome, another swiftly appeared.

Her father, an experienced cook, guided her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed them on high heat. As the water in each pot began to boil, he added potatoes to one, eggs to another, and ground coffee beans to the third.

Without saying a word to his daughter, he allowed the pots to simmer. She waited restlessly, curious about his intentions.

After twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. Carefully, he removed the potatoes and placed them in a bowl. The eggs were next, carefully transferred to another bowl. Finally, he poured the coffee into a cup. Turning to his daughter, he posed a question.

“Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she promptly replied.

“Take a closer look,” he urged, “and feel the potatoes.” She did so and noticed that they had become soft. He then instructed her to take an egg and crack it open. After removing the shell, she observed the hard-boiled interior. Lastly, he encouraged her to savor the coffee. Its delightful aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this signify?” she inquired.

He proceeded to explain that the potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans had all faced the same adversity—the boiling water.

Yet, each of them responded differently.

The potato, initially firm and unyielding, had become soft and weak in the boiling water.

The egg, fragile with a delicate outer shell safeguarding its liquid core, had turned hard inside the boiling water.

However, the ground coffee beans displayed a unique transformation. They had altered the water, creating something entirely new.

“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you react? Are you like a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans – Moral Of The Story:

In the journey of life, external events and challenges are inevitable; they happen around us, often beyond our control. However, what truly defines us as individuals is not the nature of these external circumstances, but rather how we choose to respond to them from within. Just as the potato, egg, and coffee beans reacted differently to the same boiling water, we too have the power to shape our responses to adversity.

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”


Are we like the potato, initially unyielding and strong, but prone to becoming soft and defeated when faced with life’s trials? Or are we like the egg, appearing fragile on the surface, yet capable of inner strength and resilience when tested by adversity? Perhaps, we aspire to be like the coffee beans, capable of transforming challenges into opportunities, changing the world around us for the better.

In essence, this story reminds us that our character, our strength of spirit, and our ability to create positive change in the face of adversity are the true markers of our journey through life. It encourages us to introspect and choose to respond with resilience, creativity, and a positive attitude, for it is within ourselves that we find the power to shape our destiny.”

“Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of man. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.”

Benjamin Disraeli

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