A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were hard
for her. She was tired of fighting and struggling, and wanted to give up.
Her mother took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to the 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 out each of them and
placed them in a separate bowl. Turning to her daughter she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs and coffee,” she answered. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel each of the items. The daughter noted that the carrots were now soft and the egg had become hard. When she tasted the coffee she smiled at its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, “What does this all this mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity…boiling
water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in hard and strong and unrelenting, however it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile, but after sitting in the boiling water its inside had 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
Are you like the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you become soft and lose your strength?
Are you like the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with heat? Did you initially have a fluid spirit, but after tragedy, have you become hardened and stiff?
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water by releasing its fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. How do you handle adversity, darling?
Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”