Be the Tea: A Parable about Adversity
I was inspired by the following story (many versions feature coffee, but I drink tea!) to create an original t-shirt design through the fundraising site Booster. Shirts are $15 and all profits ($5 per shirt) go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Order by December 28th: https://www.booster.com/be-the-tea.
A young woman is struggling through a difficult time in her life, and she seeks her mother’s advice. The mother leads her daughter to the kitchen, where she has placed three pots on the stove. After each has simmered a while, the mother asks her daughter to lift the lid of each of the pots, and tell her what she sees.
The daughter lifts each lid, one at a time, and then replies, “I see eggs, carrots, and a bag of tea leaves. Each is boiling in hot water.”
The mother nods, and asks her to look more closely. “What happens to an egg in boiling water?”
“It was fragile, but then it becomes hard,” the daughter replies.
“And what happens to carrots?” asks the mother.
“They begin hard, but in the water, they become soft and lose color,” replies the daughter.
“And what about the tea leaves?” asks the mother.
“The tea leaves turn the boiling water into tea,” replies the daughter.
“Yes,” says the mother. “Remember that. When in boiling water, the egg grows hard, and the carrots grow soft. But the tea? The tea changes the water it is in. When you find yourself in hot water, when you face challenges and adversity, strive to be the tea.”
As I face surgery at the beginning of next week, I have needed to remind myself of this tale, and its lesson, again and again: instead of letting difficult circumstances harden what is fragile, or weaken what is strong, use them to transform not only yourself but the world around you for the better.
Healing from cancer is a long and arduous journey. I hope you will consider supporting breast cancer research efforts by purchasing a “Be the Tea” t-shirt designed by yours truly between now and December 28th: https://www.booster.com/be-the-tea.