How do you respond to adversity: Like an egg, carrot, or coffee bean?

 This story is about a young woman who struggles as she moves forward to living independently and finding her way to success. But being young and inexperienced, paying bills becomes a paycheck-to-paycheck concern. The rough and demanding work environment drags her to discouragement. There is no room for leisure and even a relationship. Life seems like an endless cycle of unfulfilling work and endless bills to pay.  

So this young woman decided to visit her mother. Without reservations, this young woman opened her heart and shared her burdens as her mother attentively listened. 

Eventually, her mother stood up and led the young woman to the kitchen. 

Quietly, the young woman watched her mother fill up three water pots. In the first pot, her mother placed carrots. In the second pot were eggs, and in the third pot were ground coffee beans. 

They both remained silent while waiting for the water to boil in each pot. 

Twenty minutes later, the mother turned the burners off. Then fished the carrots out into a bowl. She pulled the eggs out, then into another bowl. Lastly, she ladled the coffee out, then into a bowl. 

Turning to her daughter, the mother asked, "What do you see?"

The daughter replied, "Carrots, eggs, and coffee beans."

Her mother brought this young woman closer and asked to feel the carrots, which the latter did. "It is soft and mushy!" the young woman said. 

The mother then asked to take an egg, break it and pull the shells off. The young woman obliged. She then observed the hardened egg. 

Finally, her mother asked the young woman to taste the coffee. The daughter smiled as she savored its rich flavor and aroma. "So, what's the point here, Mother?" the young woman asked. 

The mother explained that each object faced the same adversity (the boiling water) yet reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, stern, and unbending. Except after being subjected to boiling water, it became weak and soft. 

Quite the opposite for the egg as it was fragile, having a thin outer shell for protection. However, its liquid interior hardened as it sat through the boiling water. 

 "Look at how the coffee beans reacted to the boiling water; it changed the water and filled this room with a pleasant aroma," the mother continued. 

"Which are you, my daughter?" the mother asked. "When trouble knocks on your door, how do you react? Are you like a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?" her mother continued. 

Are you like a carrot that seems strong until pain and adversity weaken you?

Are you like the egg that has a malleable heart but changes over extreme heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but it stiffened after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship, or some trial? Do people see the same shell on the outside, but bitter, harsh, and hateful on the inside?

Are you like the coffee bean that allows adversity, pain, and hardship to polish your character? The hot water helped the coffee to release its fragrance and flavor. Like the coffee bean, when things get worst, misfortune fines tune you to be better, and you evolve through the situation. 

When the hours are at their darkest and trials are at their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Dear reader, I hope you find inspiration as you live your life to the fullest. Let not any trial weakens you; instead, it sharpens you to be at your strongest!

Note: This inspirational story has been circulating the web over the years. I'm posting it again using my own words, hoping that someone out there will be encouraged to press on despite adversity.


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