Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How do you handle adversity?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how difficult things were for her. She was tired of fighting and struggling. As soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose. She didn’t know how she was going to continue and was ready to give up.

Her mother took her into the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on high heat. Soon the pots came to a 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 20-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 do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted 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 … 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 had protected its liquefied interior, but after sitting in 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? She asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

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? Does your shell look the same, but are you bitter and tough on the inside? 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 flavor. If you’re like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

1 comment:

Bueller said...

Ooooh. I like this a lot! Good find!

:-)