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The Carrot, The Egg, Or The Coffee Bean... Which Are You?

This was shared with me some time ago by a dear friend of mine, and I carry a very crinkled copy of it in my purse just in case I need it. Today as I count my many blessings I am thankful that I have this to look at on  the days that I think I should just give up, and I share it with you in hopes that it might provide some inspiration to any of you that is facing life's trials right now. 

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

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?
fungirlmmm fungirlmmm 41-45, F 48 Responses Nov 22, 2012

Your Response


lovely....thank you for sharing..
i would have analyzed it differently..that all 3 change. all 3 are better after adversity. however, the carrot, is edible before and after the heat..and so is better suited to being as is. It does not require adversity to be consumed .
the coffee bean and the egg...require the adversity to finally become what they need to be in order to meet their full potential...So having said that. i would prefer to be the carrot, prepared and ready to face life, right from the get go.

This was new for me. I loved it. Thank you.

I'm definitely the coffee bean. Thanks for sharing your stories.

love the story.. And the personal touch at the end... Very reflective and introspective.. Good for you for taking time for self examination and improvement.

love the story.. And the personal touch at the end... Very reflective and introspective.. God for you for taking time for self examination and improvement.

This is great! Thank u for sharing

Carrot.. turning into an egg. Would be great to become a coffee bean.

Many times becoming a coffee bean...
i am first the carrot for a bit...
then switch to the egg for awhile...
yielding myself to whatever lessons are to be learned...
i become the coffee bean
joyinthejourney, clg

Yessssss! :-)

Thanks I needed that...

this so nice :)

LOVE this !!

Nice. Like that.

In a situation like adversity and trials,i think i will take the of coffef bean to turn the situation around for good. Tnx for sharing

In a situation like adversity and trials,i think i will take the of coffef bean to turn the situation around for good. Tnx for sharing

Wow! Absolutely fantastic!
I can say that I want to be like the coffee bean!

Thank you so much for sharing!

Wow!!!! Amazing and had me shed a tear, how can it not? We can all relate and it stirs up those unanswered feelings inside . I feel like I'm the carrot, but my goal is to be the coffee bean! Thank you. I love it!! Perhaps, I may just print this and frame it in my home! =)

Know I am a coffee bean but you had better put the cream and sugar in it or you will think I am the bitterest thing out there...

This is an awesome story. I guess we would all like to always be the coffee bean of the story. Still, I find I have been and proabably will be all three again. The thing is before the end of the story, I had thought to myself the world really needs carrots, eggs, and beans. So perhaps being all three isn't such a bad thing.

Thank you, it is the first time I have heard this version - very good.

I love this!!!!! I'd like to think I am a coffee bean :-)

Thanks y'all for your thoughts.

That is a hard one, the way I think of all the 3 things, carrot, egg and coffee: carrot is hard and you need to work on it make it softer = friends. Egg = quite instantly broken = my lover/boyfriend, and coffee = Beans will take some grinding to show their true colours so it's my family who I do not want to disappoint.

I'm a mix between carrot and coffee depending on a lot of things

I'm definitely an egg. An should probably work more on being the coffee bean :)

Very interesting......Makes me think......Thanks

thanks for that i thought that was awesome/ nice

Here's an interesting fact: when faced with real adversity - drought, famine, flood, war, epidemic - most of the neuroses in the DSM IV* simply go away. <br />
<br />
It's also true that in these situations the vast majority of people come together and act for the good - even so-called criminals. <br />
<br />
In other words, when the going gets really tough, we manifest as our highest selves.<br />
<br />
(If you think you're a skeptical rational materialist and take issue with my "new age" terminology, suck it up buttercup, you know what I mean and you also know an equivalent term that has validity for you, so substitute it).<br />
<br />
This strikes me as extremely instructive - the implication is that the only reason we have "issues" is because we have the luxury to indulge in them. <br />
<br />
Very few of us here are so hard up that we're worried about where we're going to sleep, whether we'll eat tomorrow, who's gunning for us or a natural disaster, but if we were, the vast majority of us would deal with it, whether or not we think we have it in us.<br />
<br />
In my experience, it's most often the people who think they're coffee who turn out to be carrots when the heat is on, while those who thought they were carrots find a strength of purpose that lets them rise above their own idea of themselves. <br />
<br />
I've also known a few good eggs. ;)<br />
<br />
In my case, I'm an egg who got dropped and is now striving to become coffee. (The metaphor only stretches so far, as you can see).<br />
<br />
====================================<br />
*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

That just made me smile from the inside out - I love it. I think at times we are a little of all three. It just depends on the timing of our lives and the situation.

That's a great story, although I think I'm a soft boiled egg, my shell looks the same, hard and strong, but after the boiling water and once I'm broken open, just past the thin layer of who I am, but puncture me past that and I'll spill out.