The Carrot, the Egg and the Coffee Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She didn’t know how she was going to make it and how she wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling!

Every time she solved one problem, a new one arose.  Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water.  In the first, she dropped a handful of carrots, in the second a few 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 do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter replied.

The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  The daughter did and noted that they got soft.  Mother then asked her to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, daughter observed the hard-boiled egg.  Finally, Mother asked her to sip the coffee.  The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — the 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 daughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?  Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

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