A Carrot, an Egg or a Coffee Bean?
--by Hafeez, posted Sep 4, 2007
So, 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.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she 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 pulling 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 aroma.
The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?” Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water.
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 had been in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity or change knocks on your door, how do you respond?
“Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
“Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with change and adversity will you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? “Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but faced with a death, a break-up, a financial hardship or some other trial, do you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? “The coffee bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.
“If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and provide strength and happiness for those around you. “When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, can you elevate yourself to another level?”