HENDOKU IYAKU
Changing Poison Into Medicine

FOOD FOR THOUGHT


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 pot 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, the daughter 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?” asked the mother to 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, 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. 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?

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.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your
life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you; to
those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile
when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you
are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful
in your life.

Anonymous