This is a story that my grandmother shared with me many years ago…
written by anonymous
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. It seemed as
one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and
placed each on a high fire, soon the pots came to boil. 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 beans out and poured the coffee in a cup.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.
The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and 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 coffee bean?
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain
and adversity do I wilt and become soft 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 hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the
very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it
releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things
are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate
yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot,
an egg or a coffee bean?
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you
strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.