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Mother Knows Best

March 5, 2010 | By Adrienne Smith

A friend shared this story with me and I thought it was definitely worth sharing. It will get you to thinking.

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 hardboiled 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?

Maybe we will all be COFFEE!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clifton Hatfield February 17, 2010 at 1:21 AM

Wow! Love this post Adrienne! Going through tough times are a part of life and it’s not just about the kind of person you are while going through them but about the person you become after wards. The best way of getting past the adversity IS to change it. Sometimes it can be as simple as looking/thinking about it in a positive way. The simple act of positive thinking can completely turn a negative world upside down. That is a powerful thing! Thank you so much for posting this. It really got me thinking!

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2 Adrienne
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February 17, 2010 at 8:59 AM

I appreciate the comment Clifton and I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I wanted to share this particular post because I found it so inspiring. I love examples and stories of overcoming odds and giving into change.

Thank you so much for taking the time.

Adrienne

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