Moving onward and forward

Published Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Tarang

The second half of summer is a bittersweet time, my friends. It usually means going back to school and wearing thicker clothing. However, for some of us, it’s about starting something new. Sadly, I must leave the ink and quill aside as I head over to medical school. Blogging has been filled with joy, and I hope that everyone took my imperfect advice with a grain of salt and a clove of garlic. Once I am busy learning about anatomy and pathology, will I have time to pen down my ideas? I do not know. I do know however that this blog will still be in good hands. And so I must leave you all with a moving parable. I do not know who wrote this inspirational piece, so I have no idea who to give credit to:

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 hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its richness and savored its 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?”

This story has always stuck in my memory because of its simplicity. Difficulties will arise in life but we cannot become hard and rigid like the egg nor should we soften up and let life walk all over us like a carrot. Instead our true color and aroma should shine through.


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