In raising my own children and now helping to raise my grandchildren I have come to realize that all Moms have different ways of teaching life lessons to their children. Below is an example of such a lesson and while the author is unknown to me I believe that what they have to say is something that we can all learn by.

The story begins when a young woman goes to her mother and tells her about her life and how things are so hard for her. She went on to explain how she didn’t know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She stated that she was tired of  fighting and struggling because it
seemed to her that as soon 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?

My question to you, my readers, is this: Which are you? Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity wilt and become soft losing your strength? Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat meaning that you began with fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have become hardened and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or are you 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. That means that when the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, you find a way to elevate yourself to another level. 

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? My wish for each of my readers is that they may have enough happiness to make them sweet, enough trials to make them strong, enough sorrow to keep them human and enough hope to make them happy.

The happiest people, I know, don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. It seems that they have learned to forget the pain of their childhoods and look to the future and what they can make of it.

Remember that you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches. A simple way to understand that and how to implement it is to remember that while you cried when you born others were smiling and now you have to live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.