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 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 pulling off the shell, she observed
the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She
smiled as she tasted it and smelled 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. "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, a breakup, a divorce, 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. How do you handle adversity? Are
you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? "