Are You A Carrot, An Egg Or A Coffee Bean?
Adapted by Azeezah Jameelah Mohamed Mohideen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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? HelpOthers.org. Retrieved June 14, 2010,