Fr Joshy Joseph, Thumpakattu
People who have succeeded in their lives have something in common. All of them were able to adapt themselves to the different and difficult situations that arose in their lives. For instance, sportspersons who have been in the arena for many years could succeed because they blended themselves well into emerging situations.
When a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how to handle and adapt to different situations, her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the water began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot without uttering a word. His daughter all the while waited patiently wondering what her father was up to.
After some time he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes and eggs out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He then poured the coffee into a cup. Turning to his daughter, he asked, “What do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she found a hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma and flavour brought a smile to her face.
“Dad, what does this mean?” she asked.
Her father explained that the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each one had reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in the boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with its thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?”
Very often the way we deal with different situations that arise in our lives decides our future course of action. At the beginning of yet another New Year it is important that we begin anew and well. Human behaviour is a mystical blend of innate and acquired learning and adapting them according to given situations is the key to success. Adapt, aspire and inspire before you expire! Happy New Year 2017!