Are you a carrot, cgg or coffee bean?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Sam Cleveland
  • 731st Air Mobility Squadron first sergeant
Adversity is no stranger to anyone in the Air Force, but we each handle it in our own way.

I found the story below on several different websites, but none listed an author. It's one of those simple analogies about life that "speaks" to me; I hope you can use it in your life as well.

How do you handle adversity in your life? Would you say you're like a carrot, an egg or coffee beans?

Think about this: if you place three pots of boiling water on a stove and put carrots in one, an egg in the second and ground coffee beans in the third, each item will change after being in the water for a set period of time. 

Each object undergoes the same adversity - the boiling water.

But, each will change in a different way.

A carrot will go into the water strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being boiled in the water, it will soften and becomes weak.

The egg is a fragile thing; its thin outer shell protects its liquid interior, but after sitting in the boiling water, its inside became hardened and tough.

The ground coffee beans have a unique reaction, however. After they were in the boiling water, they change the water.

So, which are you like?

Are you like a carrot, normally strong, but after facing pain and adversity, do you wilt, become soft and lose your natural inner strength?

Are you like the egg, starting with a malleable heart, but changed by the heat? Did you have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, your outside shell looks the same, but on the inside are you bitter and tough with a hardened heart?

Or, are you like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. As the water gets hot, the coffee beans release their fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?