The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Issue No. 23 – 10th August 2006
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This article came into my inbox recently and I thought it a gem. It has real applications for all of us and a message for those of us who are responsible for children. You may already have seen this doing the email rounds but it’s worth a second read. Enjoy.
Carrot, Egg and Coffee
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?”
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 break-up, 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? 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 flavour. 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?
It’s easier to build a child than repair an adult –
May we all be COFFEE
Quote of the Week
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford
Answers from children on dating and other important matters.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHOM TO MARRY?
“You’ve got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming!” Alan, age 10
“No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.” Kirsten, age 10
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
“You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.” Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
“Both don’t want any more kids.” Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
“Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.” Lynnette, age 8
“On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.” Martin, age 10
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
“When they’re rich.” Pam, age 7
Taken from Rachel Green’s newsletter, www.rachelgreen.com Thanks to Shahzadi Rukh.
The zippy tunes have my 4 year-old granddaughter dancing and singing with joy. She sings the songs with actions, even without the music. When she visits she asks,” When can I put on that jumpy music? And you can dance too.”
A great source of enjoyable bonding for us both.
Thanks Marlene for your creativity and enthusiasm. I recommend your programme to teachers, parents, grandparents and caregivers.
About The Author
Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA
Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.
57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Marlene Rattigan, Editor
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