Words of Wisdom aims to highlight important morals, which we feel our readers will benefit from reading. We hope you enjoy this fable.
Everyone has times in life that feel bleak or hopeless. And at these times, it is comforting to know that there is a reason for it, that every cloud has a silver lining, and that hard times can be redeemed if we just stay strong.
Beaten down by life, a woman visited her elderly grandmother, who noticed the woman’s depressed look—her bleakness was clear to the elderly lady’s eyes. So, she asked her granddaughter why she was so cast down.
The woman confessed that she felt like she was failing at everything. She saw no hope at the end of the tunnel, and was struggling to remember what she was still fighting for.
Her grandmother sat her down at the kitchen table and put three pots of water onto the stovetop to boil. Talking of other things, the elderly woman added some carrots into one pot, a few eggs into another, and some coffee beans into the third one. Her granddaughter, too wrapped up in her own grief, just assumed that her grandma was cooking.
After some time, the old woman took the carrots and eggs out of the pots and poured some coffee into a cup. Bringing all these to the table, she sat down beside her grandchild.
“Which one are you?” she suddenly asked.
The young woman looked at the food on the table, and, confused, she replied, “These are just carrots, eggs, and coffee.”
The old woman poked at the carrots, “These went into the boiling water hard and unrelenting, but look at them now. They’re soft and mushy.”
She cracked an egg and peeled the shell, “These used to be soft and yielding inside, but after passing through the water, their insides have hardened.”
Then, lastly, she picked up the cup of coffee and handed it to her granddaughter. “The beans went through the same adversity as the other two, and what do you have now?”
The young woman took a hesitant sip, smiled, and asked, “Coffee?”
Her grandmother nodded. “Instead of letting the boiling water change them, the beans changed the water. So, answer my question: Which ones of these are you?
“Are you like a carrot? When you face hardship, will you lose your strength and become helpless and weak?
“Are you like an egg? When you suffer pain, will you become hard on the inside?
“Or are you like coffee beans? When misfortune knocks on your door, will you use that challenge to make something good out of yourself? Will you turn those trials into opportunity?”
Grasping the lesson, the granddaughter thanked her grandma. The advice may not have solved her problems, but it illustrated that she indeed has a choice in how she responds to those troubles.
There is something timeless in this message; it reminds us that no matter what our personal challenges are, they don’t have to define us. Just like those boiling coffee beans, we too can choose to make something good from a troubling situation!