Recently, I came across an interesting parable that sounds like a decent breakfast. It’s the story of potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans, and it goes like this:
A daughter was complaining to her father about her problems and setbacks in life.
But instead of comforting her, he took her to the kitchen and brought three pots of water to boil. He then placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second, and ground coffee beans in the third. He left them to continue boiling while his daughter waited impatiently. After twenty minutes, he took out the potatoes and eggs, placed them in separate bowls, and poured the coffee into a cup.
Turning to her, he asked, “What do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she replied hastily.
“Look closer,” he said.
And so she touched the potatoes and noted that they were soft. She shelled an egg and observed its hard-boiled interior. She then sipped the coffee, and its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“What does this have to do with my problems?” she asked.
Her father explained that the potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans had all faced the same challenge—the boiling water. But they each reacted differently. The potatoes went in solid and unrelenting, but they came out soft and weak. On the other hand, the eggs were fragile until the boiling water hardened them. The ground coffee beans were the most unique. They completely changed the water, the very circumstance that brings the adversity, and created something entirely new and quite wonderful.
“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity comes knocking, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
The moral of the story is that: We can let stresses and pressures make mash potatoes out of us. Or we can face challenges like an egg, unprepared and easily broken. And while we may toughen along the way, we risk turning into hard-bitten cynics. Or we can harness the versatility of coffee beans and approach our responsibilities positively, transforming our experiences into unique and meaningful ones.
I found the significance of this parable pertinent to everyone, regardless of life experience. Especially for you student readers transitioning into higher education, I hope you gain the confidence and tenacity to embark on the next steps of your journey and not be afraid to brew delicious cups of coffee through difficult times.
But for now, maybe a nice warm cuppa in your hand as you flip through these thoughtfully curated pages of scholar’s stories and insightful tips?
I hope you enjoy reading this issue of the Scholarship Guide magazine. On behalf of our team, I thank you all for your continued support.