A young woman went to her grandmother 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 that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and 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 then 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 granddaughter, 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. 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.
The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"
Her grandmother 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, 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 granddaughter. "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 a 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 of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?
ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN
Coffee with an egg scramble and carrots...
This is a lovely metaphor. I would love to sit here and say, "Coffee, hands down, every.single.time" But I cannot help but be totally honest, I'm not always coffee. LoL. Truth be told I have been a carrot. There were some things I went through in my life that initially made me weaker, like the carrot. I am glad to say I didn't stay weak. I learned what I needed to learn and I moved forward stronger, call me carrot juice, LoL.I don't think carrot juice changed the water so much as it blended together with it, adapting to it, accepting things unchangeable, as it were.
There have also been situations in my life that have had the egg-effect as well. There have been things that have hardened my heart, made me cynical. That is easier for me to recover and move forward from however. There is SO much cynicism in this world, so many people who take this cynicism to a level that only ends up making them more cynical, more alone, more miserable. It is easy enough to see these traits in others and every time I do it is like a reminder of what NOT to be, of what NOT to become. Like I have always said, you can learn from EVERY SINGLE PERSON, sometimes you learn a better way to be, sometimes you learn how NEVER to be but every single person has a lesson to teach. Cynicism itself has a lesson to teach, there is such thing as a healthy level of cynicism...all things in balance I suppose.
When I think of myself as coffee in the metaphor I see myself as a cold brewed coffee. While cold brewed coffee has a full body and a strong flavor it is low in acidity. The process for brewing relies on time rather than heat to extract the flavor. The final product is smooth and balanced with lower acidity. Cold brewed coffee is brewed for twenty hours, that is how I am, think, introspect, take everything into account...sit with it all for a time. Be less acidic and more balanced. Either that or I'm a Mocha with Coconut Milk, LoL,
Awesome, I loved New Orleans! I miss it often...this brought back memories, thanks for that!
not fair, youn guys are making me hungry...♥
Not me...i'm craving a Chai Tea Latte with coconut milk, LoL
I I ate that much sugar i'd go into a sugar induced coma, LoL...just couldn't do it.
I love this post though, I shared it's content with my sister and she also loved it.
This is such a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing!