Thursday, February 15, 2007

Someone shared this story with me.

Carrot, egg, and coffee

A Carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look
at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother 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
one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and
placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first 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 daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see." "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother 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 daughter. "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
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. 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 their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

1 comment:

gateachermom said...

Tina,
You are definitely a coffee bean! You are strong, smart, and will definitely come out of this making a change for the better. Hugs, sweetie! Just wanted you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog and love your writing style. I'm sensing a book in the future!

Sara