If you ask me, you should try to be Cappuccino … It is the sexiest.
My friend sent me this beautiful story and I itched to relay the same to you. Read on –
“A young woman went to her mother and told her about the recent hardships of her life. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling with never-ending problems. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water, placed carrots, eggs and coffee beans respectively in them and kept them on the flame to boil.
In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners and emptied the pots in three different bowls. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” the young woman replied. The mother asked her to look closely and feel the difference between the three. She did and noted that the carrots were soft but the egg had become hard-boiled as she removed its shell. Finally, she smelled and sipped 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 – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg went in fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But its adversity hardened it! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. The boiling water made them spread their goodness in the water itself.”
You too be either like carrots, eggs or coffee beans when adversity knocks your door. Let’s see this with the lens of a failure in an exam or a break up or a difficult relationship.
You may have been a strong and happy carrot but the trials and tribulations that come with a breakup could leave you into weakened and in a pitiful, over-emotional state where even getting out of the bed becomes tough. That’s when you would realize that you weren’t that strong after all. Your machoism / James bond-ism was probably a mirage even for you! Happens to a lot of people. But beg-borrow-steal your ex will take you nowhere, you soggy carrot! Weep if you have to. But not for such a prolonged period that you become Weepy Weeperson.
Or you could have been an egg before adversity hit; sweet and flexible like the liquid interior. But your hardships harden you and you no longer retain your softer side once that shell breaks. You let your bad situation bring out not-the-best version of you. It is necessary to not be foolish and keep repeat the same mistakes. But it is not okay to hate the whole world and dry up all your emotions in the worldly heat. Hating the whole mankind after a bad marriage (hating all men / women), or running away from all happiness is not the answer. Neither is – getting sucked into a life of fake joys and cheap thrills. I’m sure even Sia agrees to it
Or you could be coffee. We all love coffee don’t we? You could also see yourself as henna leaves (mehendi) or cardamom seeds (Elaichi). Jab tak chai mein pees kar naa daalo, khushboo aati hi nahi!
Rumi said a very beautiful thing, “The crack is where the light enters you from.“ Treat this bad experience as an eye opener, a chance to learn about something so deeply embedded in you that even you did not know it was there.
We cannot imagine the coffee bean’s pain when it gets crushed. But its aroma enriches even the water that is boiling it. That’s how you turn around a situation. That’s how you know you did everything to move on.
Not everyone can muster the courage to afford this level of magnanimity in their souls. But that’s what makes you a human-extraordinaire! And trust me it feels great, like an aircraft being lifted off your chest. With every step you take, you feel more sagacious, lighter.
My work allows me to meet and interact with people across all age groups and geographies (Mumbai to Kolkata or Delhi to Bengaluru); issues predominantly remain the same… People have confided in me often after those heartful corporate training events and workshops, about their ability / inability to deal with the knockouts that life throws at them. Some of them impress me with their turnaround stories and some of them depress me with their whirlwind downfalls. But I always pick up my lesson. What I have learned is –
You may choose not be the coffee bean of post-adversity outcomes. It’s a free world, mostly. And in a way, being a carrot and egg or a coffee bean are all stages of healing – from any situation whatsoever. But it is your call, at the end of the day – as to how long you want to stay in each of these stages.
Relationships, careers, families – adversities will come at every stage, with downfalls in tow. The sooner you do this exercise of understanding what kind of handler you are – the better equipped you will be for the next challenge that life throws at you.
So I repeat the question – Carrots, eggs or coffee beans: Which one do you want to be? Hint –