A daughter complained to her mother 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 one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother said nothing and quietly took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on the stove. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one 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.
The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what she was doing. In about twenty minutes the mother got up and turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She took the eggs out and placed them a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter she asked. “Darling, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter 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 daughter 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. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She asked. “What does it mean?” Her mother explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But 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 daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
How about you? Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?
Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? Were you a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, or a layoff have you become hardened and stiff? Your shell looks the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain. When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make things better around you.
Enjoy this sweet video of the lessons of the carrot, the egg and the coffee bean: