Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee!

In the face of major change – how do you react? One of my friends sent me this and I thought that it reflected how life can be, and how we may or may not react to these challenging times, I wanted to share this “survive the storm” story . . .

A young woman went to her mother and told her that life was 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 pulled the contents out of each pot and asked her daughter what she saw. ‘Carrots, eggs, and coffee,’ the daughter replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to see how each item had changed and 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, 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 and became a cup of aromatic coffee to enjoy.

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? Were you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Were you the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you are bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. 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? Think about it when the next challenge you take on – becomes an opportunity.