The Psychology of Quality and More
Carrot, Egg, 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 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 a boil. 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," replied her daughter.
The mother asked her daughter to feel the carrots, who did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, the young woman observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each had reacted differently.
"Which are you?" the mother asked. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, wilts and become soft and loses strength? Are you the egg that appears not to change but whose heart is hardened? Or are you the coffee bean that 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, your very essence will change your environment for the better, making it sweet and palatable."
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