By now many of us has heard the inspirational story of eggs, potatoes, and coffee beans. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this story allow me to summarize it for you.
An egg, a potato, and some coffee beans are all put into some boiling water.
When the egg was placed into the water it was fragile. A thin shell was all that protected its liquid center. When it came out of the water it had become hard on the inside.
When the potato went into the water it was strong and hard but after a short while it softened and became easily mashed.
The coffee was unique. The coffee changed the water and created something new.
The moral of this story is that the adversities we face in life are like the boiling water. It will change us if we allow it to. Adversities can either make us hard or soft. Instead of allowing hard times to change us we can choose to change the times instead.
That lesson is very important but I think there is even a greater lesson to be learned from this story.
How did the coffee beans change the water?
We live in an age where civil discourse has gone the way of the rotary telephone and photo huts. He who screams the loudest for the longest period of time wins the argument. We try to change hearts and minds with threats, name calling, lies, demands, intolerance, and all other forms of verbal abuse and bullying. When that fails we protest, boycott, riot, loot, and destroy. We attempt to change hearts and minds in the same way the boiling water changes the egg and the potato.
The only thing the coffee beans did to change the water was to allow that which was good within them to come out. When the goodness inside the beans came out and entered the water it changed the water to something that was equally as good. This doesn’t happen in an instant. The beans had to sit in the water for a while. The longer the beans sat in the water the more the water became like the beans.
And so it should be with us as well. Don’t counter hate with hate or yelling with louder yelling. Instead allow the goodness within you to come out. Love conquers hate. Compassion counters hostility. Love and time can heal the wounds that run so deep between us.
When faced with the lack of civility that surrounds us remember the coffee bean and allow our goodness to conquer the hate.