A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life
and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she
was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of
fighting and struggling.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with
water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she
placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.
She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty
minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and
placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in
a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"
"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.
She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then
asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the
shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her
to sip the coffee.
The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavour and inhaled
its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What's the point, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced
the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after
being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had
been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior,
but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the
boiling water they had changed the water.
"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks
on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong?
But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?
Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a
breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become
hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside
am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the
hot water - the very circumstance that brings the adversity,
the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful.
When the water gets hot, it releases its fragrance and flavor.
If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst,
you get better, and change the situation
around you for the better.
When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you
elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?
ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?
(Somehow, wake up and smell the coffee
takes on a whole new meaning)