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An Empowering Parable

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so painful and hard for her.

She told her grandmother that her husband had cheated on her and she was in shock.

She wanted to give up on life. She told her grandmother that she was tired of fighting and struggling.

The grandmother after hearing her granddaughter’s story, guided her to the kitchen.

The grandmother filled three pots with water and placed each on the stove on a high flame. They waited until the water started to boil. In the first pot, her grandma placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let all the pots sit and boil and she sat quietly in silence, with her granddaughter.

After 20 minutes she turned off the stove.

She took the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out, and placed them in a bowl. And finally, she poured the coffee.

Then, she asked her granddaughter:

“Tell me what you see.”

The young woman replied, “Carrots, eggs, and coffee.”

Then, her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to touch the carrots. The young woman did and said that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it.

So, she broke the egg shell and saw the hardboiled egg. And finally, her grandma asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee.

The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

Then, the young woman asked “What does it all mean, grandmother?”

What’s the point of all this?”

The Grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same problem (boiling water) and all of them reacted differently.

The carrot was strong, hard, and unrelenting.

After 20 minutes in the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had become fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, the insides became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had in fact changed the water.

The old woman asked her granddaughter: “Which are you? When a problem knocks at your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

You should think on 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?

Or, 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, do I become hardened and stiff?

Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and toughened with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean?

You can see that the coffee bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.

When the water gets hot, the bean releases it’s 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 choose to elevate yourself to another level?


Now, it is your turn - I am asking you the question…

How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Till next time

Saveta Maria

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