A daughter complained to her father 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 father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he turned off the burners.
He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her he asked. “Darling, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After peeling off the shell, she observed the hardness of the boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She humbly asked. “What does it mean Father?”
He 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 — the very adversity into an aromatic brew!!!
“Which are you,” he asked his 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, affliction of a serious illness, a breakup, a divorce, or a layoff have you become hardened and stiff? Your shell looks the same, but inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain. It reaches its peak flavor at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the hotter, it releases fragrance and flavor and it just tastes better!!!
If you are like the coffee bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make situation better around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are at the worst, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?
Everyone has some problem or the other. There are only two entities who don’t have any problems or adversities at all — one is a dead body and the other is yet to be born!! How we handle the problems and adversities in our lives will determine the quality of our lives. We need to face the challenges of our lives with a positive frame of mind. Life is a game and we should play it with the best of our abilities. We should also have the courage and serenity to accept what is inevitable. That is the only way to keep ourselves always in a good frame of mind.
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 brightest future will always be based on forgotten past.
We can’t go forward in life until we let go of our past failures and heartaches.