Once upon a time a son complained to his mother that his life was miserable and he didn’t know how to get through it.

He was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It felt like just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

His mother took him to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.

Once the three pots began to boil, she placed a potato in one pot, an egg in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot. She then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to her son.

The son moaned, complained and impatiently waited, wondering what she was doing. After twenty minutes she turned off the burners.

She took the potato out of the pot and placed it in a bowl. She also took the egg out and placed it in a bowl. She then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to him, she asked:

“Son, what do you see?”

“Potato, egg and coffee” he hastily replied.

“Look closer” she said, “and touch the potato”

He did and noted that it was soft.

She then asked him to take the egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, he observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked him to sip the coffee. He did. Its rich aroma brought a smile to his face.

“Mother, what does this mean?” he asked.

She explained that the potato, the egg and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity - the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water it became weak.

The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior. When it was put in the boiling water, 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 fresh, exciting and new.

“Which one are you?” she asked her son.