Sunday Drive: Are you carrots, eggs or coffee?

I LOVE this parable our pastor shared last night, and I thought about how much it applies, not just to life, but to the challenges of running a small business.

As a solopreneur–and just another human being dropped on occasion into the roiling pot of turmoil du jour–this story inspires me to be good, strong “coffee” in business and in life.

The Carrot, the Egg and the Cup of Coffee

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 soon as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in 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 you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

Her mother brought her daughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter 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. 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?”

Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

freelance writer

Photo Credit: looseends via Compfight cc

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

freelance writer

Photo Credit: Doug Murray (borderfilms) via Compfight cc

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.

freelance writer

Photo Credit: Tom Hanger via Compfight cc

–Author Unknown

Each Sunday I take a break from marketing to share something inspiring. Pass it on… 

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Drive: Are you carrots, eggs or coffee?

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