Let’s All Be Coffee in the New Year

3083584491_92429932ea1Happy New Year to everyone! Hope all had a peaceful and relaxing holiday, and while I know most can acknowledge a wonderful few days with family and friends, I’m sure there are a few exhausted souls out there.  I’ve been secretly waiting for this first week in January to arrive, a week that signifies new beginnings. And like many people I’ve talked to, there’s a good feeling about the year 2011.

I haven’t quite figured out what my goals are for this year.  Like everyone, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to establish a regular work out routine.  But I almost don’t want to mention it – seems a bit boring and trite… and since this is on my list every year, I obviously haven’t mastered this one.

I caught a snippet of the Today Show this morning.  Ann Curry’s resolution is to wake up every morning and be thankful for all that she has been blessed with.  Matt Lauer’s resolution is to become more involved with his children’s school work.  If any of you have anything to share, please do, as I continue to create my own list.

In the meantime, I came across this passage about Carrots, Eggs and Coffee.  I thought this provided a nice foundation of inspiration to kick the year off right.  For those of us who have faced and struggled with adversity this past year, take these words to heart.  It may get your 2011 off to a great start.

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee….You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

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

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.  The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

And onward we march into 2011…


  • Catherine Says:
    1-3-2011 11:05:01


    Thanks for sharing the story. It is so easy to let ourselves be passive and buffeted by the hardships we face. One of my truths is that real personal growth takes place during periods of difficulty. So, I resolve to stop being a carrot and embrace the coffee bean!

  • Sue Says:
    1-3-2011 14:08:50

    Great post – very thought provoking. And as I enjoy my daily cup of coffee each morning, I hope I will also remember to take inspiration from it!

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    Bertrand Russell

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