The Carrot, The Egg, and The Coffee Bean
A young man went to his father and told him about his life and how things were so hard for him. He did not know how he was going to make it and wanted to give up. He was tired of fighting and struggling.
It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. His father took him to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and in the last he placed ground coffee beans.
He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. 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 in a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to his son, he asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young man replied. The father brought him closer and asked him to feel the carrots. He did and noted that they were soft. He then asked him to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, he observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked him to sip the coffee. The son smiled as he tasted its rich aroma. The son then asked, “What does it mean, father?”
His father explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – 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?” the father asked his son. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which are you? Are you the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does your shell look the same, but on the inside you become bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.
Think about it; how do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?