A young girl complained to her mother that her life was so hard that she didn’t know how she was going to make it and that she was tired of the struggle. Her mother took her to the kitchen, then filled three pots with water and put them on to boil. In them she placed carrots, eggs and ground coffee beans. Without saying a word, she let them come to a boil. After about twenty minutes, she took the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. In another bowl, she placed the eggs. And in another, she ladled the coffee out and placed it in the third bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, “What do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs and coffee,” the young girl replied.
The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
“What does it mean, 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 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, it hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they changed the water!
“Which are you?” the mother asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
We all respond to adversity in different ways. The carrot seemed strong, but with pain and adversity, it wilted and lost its strength. The egg started out malleable and soft inside, but hardened with the heat. The coffee bean was different. It changed the hot water, releasing its fragrance and flavour.
How do you respond when you struggle with the difficult times in life? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Have a happy journey!