Motivation: Are You A Carrot, An Egg Or A Coffee Bean?

Are You A Carrot, An Egg Or A Coffee Bean?

Adapted by Azeezah Jameelah Mohamed Mohideen (

Alice was troubled. She had a family, a full-time job and a degree to pursue on a part-time basis. Juggling all these responsibilities was making her tired, frustrated and depressed. What could she do? Seeking wise counsel, she went to her mother.

Alice's mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed them on the stove. When the water began to boil, she put carrots in the first pot, eggs in the second and ground coffee beans in the third. She then let the pots boil for a while. After 20 minutes, she turned off the stove. She took out the carrots, eggs and coffee and placed them in three separate bowls.

"Feel the carrots," she told Alice. She did and noted that they were soft. Next, Alice's mother asked her to break an egg. She couldn't, as the egg was hard. Finally, her mother asked her to sip the coffee. Alice smiled as she tasted its rich flavour. She asked, "What does this mean, mother?"

Alice's mother explained that each of the objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. However, each had reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but after being subjected to boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile and its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. However, after being immersed in boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans reacted differently. After these were mixed with boiling water, an aromatic and flavourful drink was produced.

"Which are you?" Alice's mother asked her. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which are you?

Are you a carrot that starts out strong but is weakened by pain and adversity?

Are you an egg that begins softly but hardens after landing in hot water?

Or are you a coffee bean, transforming into something better when faced with a challenge?

If you are like the coffee beans, when things are at their worst, you will improve yourself and even change the situation around you for the better. When the hour is darkest and trials are at their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Adapted from: Sullivan, M. (2009). Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Retrieved June 14, 2010, from

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Gender equality can be promoted in the classroom by:

making sure that both genders have equal opportunities to contribute in the classroom by giving feedback and so on
refraining from cracking gender-insensitive jokes or statements
explaining materials by taking into consideration the sensitivities of both genders
ensuring that there is no gender bias during the teaching and learning process
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