Is waking up to smell the coffee enough?

Raphael Sebbag

coffee beans on a wooden table

Over the summer break (in an undisclosed location of Australia) I came across a simple yet profound story in a book I read to my kids which has no less potential to impact our working, adult lives. Enjoy with a cup of joe!

Our story takes place in a big kitchen with the chef singing and then his witty assistant’s joining in with him. But the chef isn’t happy with his assistants enjoying themselves too much whilst working and reminds them to get back to work for the day is short and the workers are lazy.

The dining room and table is set with guests enjoying their meals as the chef watches on and thinks to himself how important it is that people are enjoying themselves and makes his efforts or the more worthwhile.

A couple of hours later the dining room is a mess. And the chef is enjoying a good rest in the staff room, when all of a sudden he is abruptly awakened from his slumber by his son. Although happy to see him he is a little surprised.

After the son finishes eating what was left over in the kitchen the father has a chat with his son to find out what’s new in his life. His son seems a bit down and the father reminds him that he is young and healthy which should suffice to be happy and optimistic.

But the son goes on to inform his father that he is having a tough time with work and balancing life commitments. Accommodation isn’t great, colleagues are not the best, pay isn’t enough, usually enough to moan about.

Immediately the father grabs a pot from his kitchen to demonstrate something to his son. Then he gets another pot and then finally a third. He fills each pot with water and then adds ingredients to each pot, potatoes in one, eggs in another and finally fresh coffee beans in the last.

A little while later, the father presents each cooked item. He remarks to his son that each food went through exactly the same process, they each got boiled and what was the result!

Whilst mashing the potatoes, the father explained that the potatoes were initially hard and became soft. Peeling the egg, he showed that what was initially soft and runny became harder. And finally whilst inhaling the invigorating aroma from the third pot the father explains how not only did the coffee beans share their goodness contained within them, but they changed their environment too. All the water in the pot became coffee and a delicious aroma filled the kitchen.

With this demonstration the father reminded the son, that in life, everyone gets boiled, “egg” people become tough; “potato people” become softer the more they are boiled. And whoever is fortunate enough to be “coffee” discovers all the goodness inside him and shares it, and everyone else around him becomes better, too.

Something to think about on your next coffee break!

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