A father listened to his daughter complain about how her life was horrendous and how she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She continued to say it seemed as though as one problem was fixed another would soon appear. The father took her into the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on the stove. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second, and ground coffee beans in the last one. Him and his daughter stood in silence while the water began to boil. He drained the water from the pot of potatoes, and set them on the counter. He took the boiled eggs out and placed them on a plate. He then poured the coffee into a cup. “Now, look closely and tell me what you see.” the father stated while turning to face his daughter. She began to observe each substance carefully. Touching the potatoes she noticed that they were now soft. The daughter then picked up an egg to break it. After pulling off the shell, she realized the egg was hard boiled. Finally, she sipped the coffee, and the rich smell put a smile on her face.
“What does this mean, father?” she confusedly asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same hardship, the boiling water. However, each one had a different reaction. The potato went in strong, hard, and relentless, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, and vulnerable with only a thin layer of shell protecting the gooey insides it held within, until it was put to the test by the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg turned hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they reacted in a whole new way, they changed the water and created something completely different, and beautiful.”Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When you hit a wall, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?” Today, people tend to be some of the most negative by never seeing the good in a situation, never taking action, and always turning to social media.
When things happen in life people tend to whine and complain about what happened instead of seeing why it happened and what it is showing them. Thinking small scale, a student fails a major test which lowers their grade in that class and then ultimately lowers their GPA. The student goes on and complains about how hard the test was, how their grades look horrible now, and how their parents are going to “kill” them. Instead they can learn from that test and take matters into their own hands by looking at why they failed. Maybe they didn’t study the best way, or they didn’t go to tutoring for help. Using this information they can alter what happens to them the next time. They can better prepare themselves and create something new just like the ground coffee did. Their reaction to one adversity can affect more things to come in the future. Thinking big scale, a school shooting happens people only see death and sadness and post on social media “RIP the families and loved ones.” then two weeks go by and barely anyone is talking about it anymore. Looking at why it happened and using that to take action and actually make a difference is what is really important. Having a more positive reaction by not just mourning, but celebrating the lives lost while also preventing future ones. More people need to be like coffee. To take their reactions and create something that they are proud of and can make a difference even if it is small. Like the people who protest for more gun control because of the shootings that go on, or the people who change rules to ensure more safety of students and staff. These kinds of people take horrible circumstances and still find slivers of good in them.
The way we react to things sets the tone for others and our future. If we have a bad reaction it can cost us way more than putting a smile on our faces would. When someone is at work and someone messes something up they can’t just start yelling at them and blame everything on them which could potentially get them fired,but instead they should help fix it, and let them know it’s okay to mess up, which calms and makes everyone around less tense. Having this kind of reaction creates a better working environment for everyone, makes future mishaps run smoother, and can ultimately create better bonds between the employees. Just like the coffee, by having a positive reaction it was able to turn an unfortunate situation into something unique that created more positive effects.
Turning to social media is huge in the twenty first century. People will post almost anything on social media. If people would start posting more positive reactions and more positive ideas more change in the world would happen. Today, it is very common for a fight to breakout and people instantly pull out their phones as their first reaction and post the video on social media. This kind of reaction spreads the idea that violence is the answer when there is many other ways of solving an issue. If people began to post more positive videos like people helping the homeless, or helping lost puppies it would inspire others to do good things as well. Social media is a huge platform people should take advantage of to spread happiness and goodness to the world. Like when people did the ice bucket challenge they were spreading awareness, raising charity, and still getting the double taps and shares that they wanted. They took a horrible disease and had a different reaction to it which created something even more powerful. Not only did they spread a positive message, they brought people together in the world for a good cause of helping others which is more powerful than a fatal disease because it created more love and friendships in the world.
Reactions shape many things in our lives and have lasting effects. How you react to something now can affect you tomorrow, next week, or even next month. So why have a bad reaction and create worse ones in the future when you could have a positive one and have positive effects from it? Take a moment or two to complain or whine because we’re human that’s what we do, but don’t let that be the only thing you do, make a difference be the unique thing that takes the adversity with stride. Be the coffee.