A Story for Hard Times

A Carrot, An Egg & a Coffee Bean

A young woman went to her mother and told her how sad she was about the world’s conflicts, how mad she was at people who she didn’t agree with and how hard it was to see a bright future. She wanted to give up, She was tired of the 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.'  'Just carrots, eggs, and coffee!' she asked.

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 hardboiled 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: the boiling water.  Each had reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being  subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak and mushy. The egg had been fragile. Its thin  outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, like an angry person, its inside  became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water for a while, they had changed the water into something delicious.  'Which are you?'  she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and lose your strength?  Are you the egg that starts with a soft heart that hardens when conflict arises, even as your shell look the same? Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean doesn’t fall apart and it’s doesn’t turn to stone. Instead of being changed, the coffee bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, the coffee releases its fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you do the very job you were meant for, you change the situation around you.  May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!

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