We will all experience hard times throughout our life. How we handle adversity and the struggles that we face reveals so much about the kind of person we are on the inside. One such woman needed to determine how strong she really was. Her wise grandmother helped her to figure out if she was going to buckle under the pressure of her devastation or rise to the challenge.
This particular woman came to find out that her husband had been cheating on her. At this point she felt defeated. Each day only seemed to bring a bigger problem her way. With little energy left to face this struggle, she had no idea how to move forward. She turned to someone who could help her figure it out. This woman sought the advice of her grandmother, someone older and wiser, who might advise her on what to do.
Sitting in her grandmother’s kitchen, the grandmother said little as she pulled out three pots and filled them each with water. She placed them on the stove and waited for them to boil. In one pot, the grandmother put in a single carrot, the second pot held one egg and in the third pot she put in a handful of ground coffee beans. The three items continued to boil. The grandmother silently waited.
Twenty minutes later, the grandmother turned off the stove. She pulled out the carrot and the egg and put them in separate bowls. The coffee beans were strained and poured into a cup. She placed the items in front of her granddaughter sitting at the table and asked her to explain what she saw.
Perplexed, the granddaughter said she only sees an egg, a carrot and coffee. The grandmother asked her granddaughter to pick up and feel the carrot. The granddaughter noticed it had softened in the water. She was then instructed to crack open the egg. She did just that and found it was now hard boiled. Lastly, the granddaughter was told to take a sip of the coffee. The taste and scent of the coffee made the granddaughter smile. But, she still did not understand what it all meant.
Her grandmother explained that even though all three items were put into the same boiling water, they all reacted differently. The carrot was hard and strong but came out weak and soft. The egg had a tough outer shell that protected the inner substance, but after being boiled it was the inside that was now hardened and the outer shell that was weak and cracked. But, she explained, the coffee beans were special. While they had stayed the same, they had changed the flavor of the water.
Her grandmother wanted her granddaughter to decide which way she would respond when adversity comes her way. She can choose to appear strong, like the carrot, but during hard times become weak. Or, she might be malleable, like the inner egg, but during a struggle allow her heart to turn hard. Then, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to consider the coffee beans that brought life and flavor to the water. Just like the fragrance of the coffee, when life becomes hard, rise above it and release a better version of you. Make the most of the situation that presents itself and make changes that will allow you to be happy.
We all might be a little happier if we work to make ourselves a better version of what we were, rather than let adversity turn us weak or hard. Like the coffee beans, they may have started with a bitter taste, but in the end they had a sweet aroma.