Carrots, Eggs, Coffee and 2020 Adversity

As our world continues to face many forms of adversity, this 2014 morning meditation by Greg Albisser needs to be shared. The Taylor Statten Camps have taught us many different ways to push through adversity through our canoe trips, team building exercises and in-camp programming.

“Carrots, Eggs, Coffee and Adversity” a morning meditation that our Director Greg Albisser gave this past August.

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 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?”

We all have troubles and adversity in our lives, but rather than being changed by the events that happen to us, let our lives be enriched and change those around us for the better.. Everything that happens is for a reason, and in the big picture, the story of our lives, everything will make sense. Today, rather than complaining about your life, look at the opportunities life presents you to grow and become stronger without being hardened, and offer flavor and life to what is plain and ordinary.

Greg Albisser, morning meditation from August 2014

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