As the story goes, a mother in an effort to teach her grown daughter a life lesson, puts three seemingly unrelated objects into separate pots of boiling water: a carrot, an egg, and some coffee. And here comes the lesson:
The 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 insides 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?
And we ask the same of you…
Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity 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, a financial hardship or some other trial, became 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?
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 are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
Of course there are life lessons in every adversity we face, and as we mature and gain wisdom, our typical reactions to various situations change. Can you think back to particularly difficult time? Did you respond like the carrot, the egg or the coffee? How would you hope to respond to challenging times in the future? We would love for you to post your comments below.
The Soul Sisters