January 29

Coffee Bean

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 boil.

In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in 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,’ she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip 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. 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 inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

‘Which 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?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.

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?

January 28

The Mayonnaise Jar

When  things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24  hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of  coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy  class and  had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly, he  picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with  golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and  poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded With an unanimous  ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the  table
and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the  professor, as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – Friends,  family,
children, health, and favourite passions. Things  that if everything else was lost and  only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.
The sand is everything else — The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar  first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf  balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy  on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that  are important to you.

So…
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical check ups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.
‘Take care of the golf balls first –  The things that really  matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand  and inquired what the coffee represented. The  professor smiled.

‘I’m glad you asked’.

It just goes to show you that  no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend..’