A modern-day parable making its rounds on social media… if you haven’t read this already, it might encourage you!
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 as soon as she dealt with one problem, a new one would pop up.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire, and soon the pots came to boil. In the first pot 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 out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma then asked,
“What does it mean, grandmother?”
Her grandmother 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 granddaughter.
Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?
Are you the egg that starts with a malleable 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, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are youI bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, the coffee releases fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
One more reason to love my coffee… a great object lesson for life!
When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
All three photographs are courtesy of morgueFile free photo archive: http://www.morguefile.com/
I LOVE THIS!!!! What a wonderful picture of how we deal with difficulty. I so want to be the coffee ALL the time. I want to be courageous enough to change my circumstances, not be changed by them. But I find I’m too often the carrot or egg. Thanks SO much for this. I’m not going to forget this one, Ter. Well done.
Thanks, Dayle! Yep, hope to remember this principle as I sip my daily coffee! (It will take that many reminders to maybe apply it!) 🙂