In times of hardship, many of us turn to our grandparents for guidance. On the internet, there’s a popular story where a grandmother imparts straightforward yet deeply meaningful wisdom to her granddaughter.
Although the identity of the author is a mystery, the message they convey holds a universal truth that strikes a chord with people everywhere.
The story begins when a young woman opens up to her grandmother, sharing the difficulties she’s facing. Overwhelmed and seeking help, the grandmother responds by presenting a carrot, a few eggs, and a pot of coffee…
The young lady bared her soul, expressing how life had turned into a continuous struggle. She was teetering on the brink of surrender, drained by the unending challenges. It appeared that as one problem was solved, another promptly surfaced.
Silently, her grandmother guided her to the kitchen. Once there, she filled three pots with water and placed them on high heat. As the water came to a boil, she added carrots to the first pot, eggs to the second, and ground coffee beans to the third.
Roughly twenty minutes later, she switched off the stovetop. She delicately extracted the softened carrots and arranged them in a bowl. Next, she carefully gathered the now-hardened eggs and placed them in another bowl. Lastly, she poured the fragrant coffee into a third bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she inquired, “What do you observe?” To which her granddaughter responded, “Carrots, eggs, and coffee.”
Bringing her nearer, the grandmother directed her to feel the carrots. The young woman noticed their newfound tenderness. Then, she was prompted to select an egg and crack it open. After removing the shell, she inspected the firm interior.
Lastly, the granddaughter was encouraged to relish a sip of the coffee. A smile graced her face as she savored its deep, flavorful taste.
Intrigued, she inquired, ‘Grandmother, what’s the significance of this?’ The wise elder proceeded to clarify that all three items had encountered the same obstacle – boiling water – yet each had responded differently.
‘The carrot, once firm and unyielding, had transformed, becoming tender and adaptable when exposed to boiling water. The egg, initially fragile with its delicate shell, had solidified inside after withstanding the heat.’
Yet, the coffee beans had exhibited a truly remarkable alteration. They had influenced the water, imbuing it with their essence.
“Now, my dear,” she inquired of her granddaughter, “which one are you? When adversity comes knocking at your door, how do you react? Are you akin to a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Reflect on this: Who am I? Do I resemble the carrot, presenting strength but yielding when faced with pain and challenges, losing my resilience?
Or am I more like the egg, initially soft-hearted but toughening up due to life’s trials? Has a loss, a breakup, a financial setback, or some other adversity made me bitter and unyielding within, even if I maintain a familiar exterior?
Maybe I’m akin to the coffee bean. When confronted with adversity, do I, like the bean, change the situation itself? Does the heat of difficulty draw out my best qualities, releasing the essence and character of my true self?
If you identify with the coffee bean, then even in the most challenging moments, you ascend and exert a positive influence on the environment. When faced with the darkest times and the most formidable obstacles, do you discover a means to elevate yourself?
This narrative led me to contemplate which of these I represent when facing adversity. Now, I pose the same question to you: Do you resemble a carrot, an egg, or coffee?
Please share this tale with your dear ones, and together, let’s contemplate the inner strength we possess.