…taken from my book chapter “In Conclusion” (click on book title to link to A Gift from the Heart ) – not sure of its original source but I am sure credit is due to someone “out there”

As you face your own life challenges, consider this . . .

Are you a carrot, an egg or a cup of coffee?

(You may never look at a cup of Coffee the same way again…)

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 and
placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in 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 you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did
and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to
take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the
hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter
smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What does
it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity: boiling water. 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?

Think of this: 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 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.
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?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make
you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you
happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything;
they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The
brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go
forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

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