Carrots, Eggs, and Coffee

by an unknown author:

A young woman complained to her mother about the hardships and difficulties in her life. She didn’t know how she was going to continue and wanted to give up. The young woman said, “I’m tired of fighting and struggling. It seems that as soon as one problem is solved, a new one appears.” In response, her mother took her to the kitchen and filled three pots with water, placing each one on the stove over a high flame.

Soon the water came to a boil. In the first pot 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 20 minutes, she turned off the burners. The mother then fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She removed the eggs and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she said, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the daughter 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 peeling 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 flavor.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, Mother?”

The mother replied that each of these objects had faced the same adversity, boiling water, and 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 protecting its liquid interior, but after the boiling water, its inside became hardened. But the ground coffee beans were unique – after they were in the boiling water, they’d changed the water itself.

The message? The real issue is not what happens to you, but rather your response to what happens to you. You can be soft like an egg, but allow life to make you hard. You can be hard like a carrot, but allow life to break you and make you soft. Or you can be like  ground coffee beans; use your adversities to change life into something wonderful like the coffee beans changed the water! Instead of life changing you; you change life!

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