Have You Heard This Story?

What would it feel like to have what you say valued ― to feel what you said was truly heard and considered valid? But, take it further ― what you said touched a heart and made a connection opening up an opportunity for change. In today’s fast-paced, hi-tech world is that even possible?

I believe it is and one way is through our stories and experiences. Stories can create a place of comfort with having found something in common with someone else. It may be a small incident yet powerful in how you feel once you’ve been brought together through a story. The perspective you’ve gained can change your life.

Here’s one of those stories I came across in Facebook that reminded me of my grandmother and the stories she shared with me.

The following story and photo are used by permission by Brigitte at Lessons Learned in Life Facebook Page:


Grandmother says… Carrots, Eggs or Coffee; “Which are you?”

grandmother at sink

Used by permission by Brigitt on Facebook Page “Lessons Learned in Life”

A young woman went to her grandmother 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 grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and 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 granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point, grandmother?”

Her grandmother 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. 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 granddaughter.

“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 a 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.

When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?



Stories like these stay with us many years later, as we reflect on times past. I know many of you have life-changing stories of your own. Won’t you share them and…

If I have at least 5, I’ll create a post on my site with your stories. Just send me a
Message on my Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/PlainTalkAndOrdinaryWisdom and your story with the “Story Name” as the Subject. I’m looking forward to reading and putting them in a post.

Pat from the ol’ kitchen table

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Pat Ruppel
Acknowledgements: Grandmother photo and "Carrots Eggs o more...

11 thoughts on “Have You Heard This Story?

    • Jo-Anne – me too. I’m not quite sure which I am either. I think it changes on a daily basis. I agree and hope too that I would be more coffee after being ground up and brewed with the tests of life coming out with a richer flavor than what I started with.

  1. I loved this so much! Thank you for sharing. I had never heard this one before and yet I needed to hear it. I felt my grandma telling me…. the kind of advice she used to give. I will tuck this one away for my own grandchildren.
    Thank you again.

    • Hi Diane – I’m thrilled you stopped by and enjoyed the story. The picture reminds me of my grandmother and the sweet memories I have of her and those times growing up. It reminds me of a slide show I have from a radio host with little nuggets of ’60’s memories and played with the background song “In the Still of the Night”. I can share it with you via email if you like — just let me know. 🙂

    • Diane – wanted to ask if you ever figured out how to follow me? You can sign up for notification of new posts via email on my side bar at the top and I think at the end of each post there’s a box you can check to be notified of new posts. Hope this helps and hope to see you back again real soon! 🙂

  2. I never knew either of my grandmothers unfortunately…but I do enjoy my visits with grandchildren. I try to give them lots of fond memories. Interestingly, I have found that in talking with children, they are totally focused on what you have to say; they listen with their eyes, ears, and hearts. I try to do the same.

    • Hi Beverely – I guess that comment feature works best. I’m happy you’re here.

      It is different now with the tables turned and being a grandmom instead of the child with my grandmom. I’m not sure which I enjoy most. i guess what’s the best is where I’m at now and that’s being the grandmom. There’s nothing like having a grandparent in your life that you adore as I did with my grandmother. I can only hope to share that kind of pure love with them and make memories half as well as she did for me. 🙂

  3. Pat, I have read that story so many times and I always found it really inspirational and worth to be meditated about. We should all learn being like the coffee bean, since very few of us succeed into being like that coffee bean. Most of us tend to become like the melted carrot or like the boilt egg because we are weak and don’t have faith enough in God nor in ourselves.

    Recently, we had a trip to Johannesburg, and among the staffs of the hotel where we were staying, there was an adorable waitress coming from Soweto, named Edna. Despite the horrors which had been haunting Soweto during Apartheid, Edna represented the perfect example of positiveness and hope which made her becoming better and better each and every day. I also visited Soweto during my short trip, since we were there only for the weekend, and I was amazed how most houses in that region are complete and well developed, and how most of the Soweto people succeeded into collecting enough money for having equipped and comfortable houses instead of living constantly in misery and anger, and instead of always ruminating the burdens they had to bear during Apartheid. They suffered a lot for so many years but they rose again from their ashes and live in much better conditions than before, with a smile upon their faces all the time. We should take example on them, since they have the same strength of heart and mind at the image of the coffee bean challenging the boilt water and turning it into a wonderful hot drink.

    • Thank you, Uma. Yes, there is much we can learn from this little story and from the examples of people like you mentioned and how they choose to live their lives. It reminds me of a book Wayne Dyer spoke about awhile back where he helped a survivor of Rwanda publish her story.

      Her name is Immaculee Ilibagiza and her book is entitled “Left to Tell“. She overcame incredible conditions surviving the massacre of her family and people in Rwanda and came through it with love and forgiveness in her heart. It’s truly an inspiring read and one of which by only the grace of God could she have worked her way through it.

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.

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