Sunday, March 11, 2012

Short Story: Handling Adversity



Handling Adversity

A young woman went to her mother and complained about her life and how things were so hard for her. She said that with all the problems she have, she does not know how she's going to solve them all and that she simply wants to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It was like, with one problem solved, out comes a new one.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first pot, she placed carrots. In the second pot, she placed eggs and in the last one, she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil. She did not say 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 another bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a different bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted they got 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 took in its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mom?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity– the 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 insides hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. The beans actually changed the water's fragrance and flavor.

“Which one 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?”

The daughter thought for a moment and nodded her head. Life is full of twists and turns, pain and adversity.. and it is your choice on how you would respond to them.

Which one are you?

Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with life's trials, do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength?

Are you the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Do you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other life trial, you then become hard and stiff? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you're bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Are you like a coffee bean? When things are at their worst, do you get better and change the situation around you? When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you learn and elevate to another level?

So which one are you? How do you handle adversity?




Source: Facebook

22 comments:

  1. nung ikinwento sakin toh ng friend ko egg yung pinili ko, iniisip ko kasi magiging sisiw. ano daw! hehe. nice story :)))

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    1. Haha.. ibang klase din ang diskarte mo sa pagpili ha. hehe.. :)

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  2. Great story!

    I agree that the carrot became 'soft' but I object to the characterization of this as 'weak'.

    I agree that the fluid within the egg 'solidified' but I object to the characterization of this as 'hard & stiff'.

    The coffee beans changed the water to coffee, but it is probably the least 'nutritious' of the choices given.

    I am all 3. Adversity tends to soften my heart, solidify my Spirit, and permeate the reality of my experience.

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    1. Good points.. I really wanna change those, especially with the egg. I agree, the egg becoming hard when boiled doesn't really mean hard and stiff. TOUGH, yes.. However, the author used those analogies, so I couldn't. :)

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  3. coffee bean hehe, kahit na hindi ako nagka-kape, esp. now that we made some very important decisions in our family :)

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    1. Extra rich po, Kuya? hehe..

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  4. Wow, this was a really good analogy! It really made me think :) thanks for sharing!

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  5. This is such a lovely story Ate Leah! I like it! Very inspiring... I would like to be a coffee bean ! :D ... and tea leaf hehe

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    1. Yes... and tea leaf. hehehe.. XD

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  6. I am probably the egg...but I'm trying hard to be the coffee. Which is strange, because the only one I would actually taste is the carrot.

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    1. I'd really like to think that I am a coffee bean. Though I gotta admit that I can be a carrot, sometimes. I act tough, then I lose my self-confidence when I get knocked down. :| The good thing about it is that I don't stay down. There is always a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

      The power of optimism.. It pulls me up. hehe..

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  7. very inspiring ate..sana coffee bean ako pero madalas kasi egg ako eh. haha anyway..ishare ko tong link mo sa FB at twitter ko ah?natuwa ako masyado eh.

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    1. Hehe. Nakita ko lang din to sa Facebook. Sige, share lang.. Salamat marami, superjaid! XD

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  8. I always try my best to be the coffee bean, even though it doesn't always work out right.

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    1. Me too... but the carrot in me can sometimes be very dominant. :|

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  9. People react differently in the same situation. And people differ in the level of tolerances one can take, pain, hardships, stressful events etc. The parallelism given in the story is an illustration of that. Some people are like carrots, egg or ground coffee, reacting differently in the same situation. But of the three, ground coffee passes thru a lot of grinding before it became in it's best state. Life is like that, you need to pass thru a lot of grinding, testing and molding before you became a better and stronger person that can face different adversities in life.

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    1. Excellent points! I couldn't have said it any better myself. :)

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  10. That was a great story indeed :) I think I'm more like the egg really, except I've become hard on the outside as well. Though I'm not a fully cooked egg, I'm actually still quite soft inside. If I have kids and they complain of adversity I'm so doing this.

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    1. You're a soft-boiled egg. Hard on the outside, but still soft inside. :)

      yeah, I just got this from Facebook. There are lots of good short stories there.. who knew? XD

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  11. seriously, I'm more of the egg.....it's because of the stupid pains that I have undergone, i was to change into the coffee bean..., but then no, i went back to the egg....., dahil maxado akong minaliit, kaya kailangan kong maging matigas para hindi ako lokohin at gamitin muli,

    aun...

    mahaba ulit hehe

    :))

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  12. I read this few years back. I guess I'm more of an egg, but would like to be a coffee soon. :)

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