Troop 1113 – Scoutmaster Minute April 29, 2015

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once upon a time a son complained to his father that his life was miserable and that he didn’t know how he was going to make it. He was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

His father, a professional chef, took him to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed a potato in one pot, an egg in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his son. The son, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes, he turned off the burners. He took the potato out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the egg out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to him he asked. “Son, what do you see?”

“Potato, egg, and coffee,” he hastily replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potato.” He did and noted that it was very soft. He then asked him to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, he observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked him to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought strong flavors.

“Father, what does this mean?” the son asked.

He then 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 soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with a 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 son. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “


In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Which one are you?


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