Monday, December 12, 2011

Handling Adversity-Are you a Carrot, an Egg or Coffee Bean?

A little darling daughter once complained to her Daddy about her life and how things were so hard for her to get along with her life. 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 Daddy, a Chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three vessels with water and placed each one of them on a high fire. Soon the water in each of the vessels started boiling. In one, he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs and in the third one he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. The little daughter sucked her teeth and waited impatiently wondering what her Daddy was doing. After about twenty minutes, he turned off all the three burners.

Turning to her, he asked, “Darling, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs and coffee”, she replied. He brought her closer to the three vessels and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they had turned soft. He then asked her to take an egg from the second vessel and break it. After peeling off the shell, she observed the hardness of the boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee in the third vessel. She smiled as she tasted the rich aroma. She humbly asked, “What does it mean, Daddy?”

He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water. But each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. But, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became tender. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But after sitting through the boiling water, its inner portion got hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water into coffee.

Now, let me ask you, “Which of the three, are you?” “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity, do you wilt and become soft and lose your confidence and strength? Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart which has become hardened and stiff after facing an adverse situation? Although your shell looks the same from outside, but from inside, are you bitter and tough, with a stiff spirit and a heart of stone? Or are you like the coffee bean, that changes the situation and transforms the environment into something better and nice? The bean, not only changes its own constitution, but also changes the hot water that was responsible in causing suffering and pain. Hotter the water, tastier the coffee.

So, what’s your choice?
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