A daughter told her mother about how things were becoming so hard for her (or was it her son?). She said 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 that just soon as one issue was solved, a new one cropped up.
Her mother took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water, and placed each on a burner and turned them on high. When the pots came to a boil she put carrots in one, eggs in the second, and coffee beans in the third. She let them boil for a while without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She drained the carrots out and put them in a bowl. She took the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Finally, she asked her daughter, what do you see? Carrots, eggs, and coffee, the daughter said.
Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked her to peel open an egg and the daughter saw that the egg was hard boiled. Then, her mother asked her to
sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich flavor. She then asked her mother, what does it mean?
Her mother explained that each of the items had faced the same adversity – boiling water. However, she pointed out that each had reacted differently. The carrot started out strong, hard, and unbending. However, the boiling water made it soft and weak. The egg had a thin shell protecting its liquid interi-or, but the boiling water hardened its insides. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After their time in the boiling water, they changed the water.
Which are you, she asked her daughter. Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? When adversity knocks on your door, how should you respond? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity wilts and become soft and weak? Are you like the egg that starts with a soft heart, but changes with the heat of life issues? Do you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, breakup, financial setback or some other trial, become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside have you let yourself become bitter and tough with a hardened heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean? Like the bean can you change the hot water of whatever adversity that comes your way? Can you change the very circumstance that brings the pain?
When the water got hot, it released the bean’s 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 at their greatest, 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. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.
The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heart aches. There’s nothing like the fragrance and flavor of a good cup of coffee.