Jeff Wright’s daughter, Amanda, had relocated to a town six hours away by bus to pursue her studies, leaving Jeff to live alone.
Jeff had lost his wife when Amanda was an infant, and he often felt lonely without her. However, he managed to keep himself occupied by passionately working at a small diner, cooking up delicious meals for customers and exploring the city through hikes and nature trips.
Despite his efforts to stay in touch with Amanda, their conversations were limited to less than a minute as she claimed to be occupied with work.
One afternoon, Jeff was awakened from his nap by a faint voice calling for help outside his door. To his surprise, it was Amanda’s voice saying, “Dad, help me.”
Jeff, still groggy from his nap, initially questioned if he was dreaming. However, when the voice called out to him again, he recognized it as Amanda’s. He rushed to the door to find his daughter looking weak and exhausted.
“Sweetheart, what happened to you?” Jeff asked as he helped Amanda inside.
“Dad, I don’t know what to do. I’m broke and have nowhere else to turn,” Amanda confessed, as Jeff seated her on the couch.
“I’ve tried to check on you many times, but you always said you were busy. I thought everything was fine with work, so I didn’t push for more details,” Jeff explained.
“I know, Dad. I’m sorry for pushing you away. The truth is, I got involved in an unhealthy relationship with a coworker. He told me we didn’t need you and that you would just ask for money since you were getting old. But it turns out he was using me for money,” Amanda cried.
“He spent all my savings on alcohol, and when things got out of hand, I fled with only my purse. I had just $20, so I took a bus to get here. I’m sorry, Dad. I should have left him earlier,” she continued through sobs.
Jeff reassured Amanda, “I’m glad you’re away from him. Don’t worry about what you’ve lost. What matters is that you’re safe and back home.” He rubbed her back to comfort her.
Amanda expressed her unhappiness with the way her life has turned out and her struggle to move forward. Jeff responded by saying, “Let me show you something,” and led her to the kitchen.
He filled three pots with water and boiled potatoes in one, eggs in another, and ground coffee beans in the third. After twenty minutes, he took them out and put them in separate bowls, asking Amanda to observe.
Amanda saw potatoes, eggs, and coffee and asked, “What is this, dad?”
Jeff instructed her to touch the potatoes, crack the egg, and sip the coffee, and Amanda discovered that the potatoes were soft, the egg was hard-boiled, and the coffee had a rich flavor and aroma.
She asked her dad, “Dad, what are you trying to convey?”
He asked her, “Amanda, did you notice how the potatoes, eggs, and coffee beans all faced the same issue – boiling water – yet each responded differently?”
Amanda nodded, comprehending what her father was getting at.
He explained, “Potatoes, typically tough and robust, turned soft and weak when faced with the problem. Eggs, on the other hand, which are delicate and easily breakable, became hard and strong. Coffee beans, however, transformed into something new when confronted with the problem.”
“Sweetheart,” he said with a smile, “When problems arise in your life, are you the potato, the egg, or the coffee bean?”
His question made Amanda smile. She realized she had been looking in the wrong direction, and her father had always been her biggest supporter.
“Dad, I’m the coffee bean,” she said confidently.
That moment prompted Amanda to change her life for the better. She relocated to her father’s hometown and began anew. As an industrial design graduate, she decided to open her own art gallery and worked part-time at her father’s diner to keep the gallery afloat.
In the end, Amanda became a successful and well-known local designer. Everyone wanted a piece of her art, and she gained clients from all around the country.