Are you Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee?

I heard this story many years ago and am not sure of the author but I think it is worth sharing. 

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how hard things were 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 soon as one problem was solved a new one showed up.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she put carrots, in the second she put eggs and in the last, she put ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

Twenty minutes later she turned off the three pots. 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 granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the granddaughter replied.

The grandmother brought her grandaughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got 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 granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point, mamaw?”

Her grandmother 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 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 changed the water turning it into something totally different.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.”When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Which one are you?


Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Do you grow weaker and weaker with each new adversity until eventually there is nothing left but a pile of mush?

Are you the egg that starts with a soft fluid 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, you have become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same on the outside, but on the inside you are tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water. It changes the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of the coffee bean making a delicious cup of coffee. If you are like the bean, then when things are at their worst you get better.  You grow with adversity and learn how to change the situation around you for the better.

Now, which one are you? Which one do you want to be?

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