The following story was probably the most incredible we have recently read. It is a good lesson for all of us, despite our age.
Here is how the story goes. A young woman went to her grandma and told her about how things were so tough for her. She explained to her grandmother that her husband had cheated on her and that she was shocked. The young woman did not know how she was going to make it. She even wanted to give up on life. The woman told her grandmother that she was tired of struggling. It seemed like as soon as she solved a problem, a new one arose.
Her grandmother listened to her story, and she took the young woman to the kitchen. The grandma filled three pots with water and put each on a high fire. They both waited until the water started to boil. The grandma placed carrots in the first pot, eggs in the second and coffee beans in the last. She decided to let them sit and boil and did not say anything – not even a word.
After twenty minutes the grandma turned off the stove. She took the carrots out and put them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and put them in another bowl. And lastly, she poured the coffee into a bowl.
She then asked her granddaughter: “Tell me what you see.” The woman said: “Carrots, eggs, and coffee.” Her grandmother took her closer and asked her to put her hands on the carrots. The young woman did and said they were soft. The grandma then asked her granddaughter to take an egg and break it. So, the woman broke the eggshell and saw the hardboiled egg. Finally, her grandmother asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled while tasting its rich aroma.
Then, the young woman asked her grandma: ‘What does it mean, grandmother? What’s the point of this?” The old and wise woman explained that each of these objects had to face the same problem (boiling water) and each of them reacted differently. The carrot was strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after twenty minutes in the boiling water, it softened a lot and became very weak.
The egg had become very fragile. Its thin outer shell was protecting its liquid interior; however, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. Nevertheless, the ground coffee beans were unique: after they were set in the boiling water, they had significantly changed the water.
So, the old woman asked her granddaughter: “Which are you? When a problem knocks at your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”
You should also think of this – which of the three are you? Are you the carrot which seems strong, but with pain and adversity you wilt, become soft and lose your strength?
Or, are you the egg that begins with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did you have a very fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other challenge, have you become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, yet are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart on the inside?
Or are you the coffee bean? You’ve seen that the coffee bean changes the hot water, the very circumstance which brings about the pain. When the water gets hot, it starts to release the fragrance and flavor. If you’re like the bean, when things are at their worst, you become better and change the situation around you too. When the hour is the darkest and challenges are their greatest, you elevate yourself to another level.
So, how do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
Think about it – when you were born, you were crying, and everybody around you was smiling. Sometimes things are not really as we bad as perceive them.