Coffee, anyone?

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how
things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it
and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed
as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the
first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and 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 do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee, ” the
daughter replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.
She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and
break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.
Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted
its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity – boiling water – but 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 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 am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and
adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that
starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid
spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other
trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on
the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I 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.

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