Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are You a Carrot, An Egg, or a Coffee Bean?

Not much to talk about today.  Another day like all the others.  Up early and out to work.  The sun is finally shining...somewhat.  The humidity here has been dreadful, and who knows what we are still in for with July and August  yet to come?

Anyone catch Dallas last night? Dallas was one of the few shows I could never miss back then. The other two were Falcon Crest and Knot's Landing.  Last night, watching the show and seeing how Bobby and JR have aged,  has  really made me feel old.  My goodness, was it really thirty-two  years ago when we were all wondering "Who Shot JR?"  I was also glad to see Linda Grey, but sure did miss Victoria Principal. 

I've used the following story in my groups when we talk about dealing with setbacks and enjoy it so much, I wanted to share it with you.  

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. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and 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 do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her 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—but 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 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 a 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 hours is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another lever?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?


  1. Mary, I never did watch Dallas, but my mom got me hooked on Knots Landing.
    This story today is brilliant. Food for thought!

  2. Great story. I've been each and probably always will be. With age (and wisdom?) I've learned something don't matter enough to lose sleep over, but there are things in this life that are hard to bear. It's good to have friends to hold us up when we become carrots, family to remind us not to be soo hard at times.

  3. What a thought provoking post today ...... Mary. As an answer to this, I think I can bee all three at different times and different situations.

    Hugs to you......try and stay cool....humidity in New York is unpleasant....I've been there in the muggy summer months.



  4. Think it depends on what the adversity is. Different adversities = different reactions.

    Oh and (Re: Dallas), I am older than you are, my Dear, of course. My reaction to seeing the old 'JR'... Yes, he is pretty darn old looking. But he's come through sickness, and is still kicking. -grin-

    But my point is, Larry Hagman is 80. and HE looks like THAT. My husband will soon be 79, and he looks a hell of a lot better. -grin-

    Guess everything looks different, from different angles, hu? ,-)