June 2, 2011

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

A young woman was lamenting to her mother about how hard life was for her. It seemed as soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose. She was so overwhelmed that she didn't know how she was going to continue.

Without saying a word, her mother  filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire until they came to a boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners and fished out the carrots and eggs, placing each in separate bowls. Then she poured the coffee into two cups.

She then pointed to the carrots and eggs and asked her daughter, "Tell me what do you notice about each of these."

The daughter replied, "The carrots were hard but the boiling water made them soft. Whereas the eggs were soft, but now are hard."

Then, the mother handed her daughter the cup of coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma, then asked, "What does this all mean?"

Her mother explained, "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, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened."

The ground coffee beans, she explained, were unique. Through the boiling, they had emerged with and changed the water.
Which are you? When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond:
Are you the carrot that seems strong, but folds under pressure, losing your power?

Are you the egg that hardens under hardship, becoming tough and bitter?

Or are you like the coffee bean that thrives in adverse conditions, making the most of what you have available.

While we often can't control our circumstances, we can manage our reactions and the decisions we make. Our greatest asset is our ability to think ourselves to a better mindset and work through situations.

May you all be like coffee.

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