Isn't it amazing that we can go years without hearing someone's name and then that person shows up two or three times in a few days?
This same phenomenon can also happen with an impactful quote or story.
This parable that first landed upon me almost two decades ago, has shown up three times in the past month. The original author is unknown, and perhaps this is how it should be ... the first to tell an impactful story is certainly a coffee bean.
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about how things were so very hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and was ready to give up. She was tired of struggling. It seemed that whenever one problem was solved, a new one surfaced to take its place.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen, where she filled three pots with water and placed each on a hot stove. The pots quickly came to boil. In the first she dropped carrots, in the second she placed eggs and in the third, she put ground coffee beans.
After about ten minutes she took out the carrots and put them in a bowl. She then removed the eggs and placed them in a bowl.
Lastly, she removed the coffee with a ladle and placed it in a third bowl. The grandmother asked, "What do you see?"
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the young woman responded.
The grandmother asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted the carrots were soft and a bit mushy.
The granddaughter was then asked to break one of the eggs. She obliged, cracked the shell, and revealed a hard-boiled egg.
Finally, the grandmother instructed her to sip the coffee. The young woman smiled, enjoying the taste and rich aroma, but quickly asked her grandmother, "What does this mean?"
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" the grandmother asked.