A young woman told her mother how difficult things were for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and felt like giving up.
Her mother took her to the kitchen and filled three pots with water. Soon the water started boiling. In the first pot, she placed carrots.
In the second, she put eggs.
And in the third, she placed coffee beans.
She let them sit and boil.
In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them on a plate. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a mug. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "What do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," her daughter replied. Her mother handed her some carrots. They were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed that the egg was now hard boiled. Then the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
Then the daughter asked, "What does all this mean?" Her mother said that each of these had faced the same adversity --boiling water. But each reacted differently. "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? 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 an open heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a break-up, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? 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. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
-- from: Dr. Rob Gilbert & Joe DePalma