Carrot, egg or coffee
A daughter complained to her father about life and how hard things are for her. She said she wanted to give up as she was tired of struggling. For just as one problem was solved, another arose.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen, filled three pots with water and placed the fire on high.
Soon the three pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the other he placed eggs and in the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. The daughter wondered what he was trying to do.
In half an hour he turned down the fire and took out the contents of the pots and put them in bowls. Turning to her he said, “My dear child, what do you see?” Smartly she replied, “Carrots, eggs and coffee.”
He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After shelling it, she observed it was hard-boiled now. Finally, he asked her to take a sip of the fragrant coffee. She winced as it was very strong.
Humbly, she asked, “What does it mean father?” He explained, “Each of them faced the same adversity, 100°C of boiling water. However, each reacted differently. The carrot was strong, hard and unrelenting. But, after going through boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg was fragile. A thin outer shell protected a liquid centre. But after sitting in the boiling water, the inside became hardened. However, the coffee beans are unique. After they were in the boiling water, they became stronger and richer. Which one of these are you?” he asked.
Are you the carrot that seems hard but with the smallest amount of pain, adversity or heat, you wilt and become soft with no strength? Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? But after a death, breakup, divorce or layoff become hardened and stiff? Your shell looks the same but you are bitter and tough inside. Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean does not get its true flavour until it reaches 100°C. When the water gets hotter, it just tastes better. When things are at their worst, you get better.
So how do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?