We raise girls to cater to the fragile egos of men. We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We tell girls ‘you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man……
We teach girls shame – close your legs, cover yourself!! We make them feel as though by being born female they’re already guilty of something. And so girls grow up to be a woman who cannot see they have desire. They grow up to be women who silence themselves. They grow up to be women who cannot say what they truly think. And they grow up – and this is the worst thing we do to girls – they grow up to be women who turn pretense into an art form. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Category: Teen Girls
Inspirational Fridays: Are You A Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?
Are You A Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean
A young woman told her mother about her life and how things were so hard. 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 that 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 a boil. 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 then 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.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were 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 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 — 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. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. 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 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 of your life. 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?
How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?
SO…..ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?
Granny’s Wisdom: Do Not Wear Out Your Welcome
I wonder how many people have heard the phrase “do not wear out your welcome.” Hum . . . I first heard the expression from my grandmother when I was young.
Back when I was once a kid, and a know-it-all, it seemed my late maternal grandmother would always say those words to my cousins, my siblings and me. I’m not sure how my family members took her wisdom; but back when I was a child I thought my grandmother was old, uncaring, uneducated, mean-spirited, and truly out of touch with the mental and emotional needs of the young. [chuckle]
I can remember as if it was yesterday sassing her for this or that. But nothing stands out more than the time she would not let me go over to my cousin’s house as often as I wanted. And, sadly, it was late into my adult years before I understood the meaning ‘do not wear out your welcome.’
As I’m looking back on things and reflecting upon how I dismissed her words of caution, I now understand why my life was filled with heartaches.
I hate to admit to myself but I deserved all the bumps I got from being hardheaded; and my self enlightenment really makes me feel foolish about things I had blame on others.
Well, any-who-how . . . It was by divine revelation I found the phrase in the Bible one day. I was shocked! It was amazing to read that God gives his children the same warning!
Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house– too much of you, and they will hate you. Proverbs 25:17
The message I get from this passage is: don’t be so darn clingy! Get a life! Explore parts of your life without others. Enjoy family when can. And remember a bit of you goes a long ways.
I’m coming to terms with my granny’s wisdom. My grandmother has passed but her words live on. And each day that I live I think about her abrasive and unharness wisdom. I’m learning she was indeed the smartest woman I will ever know and most of all she loved me.
Inspirational Fridays: Giving Is The Best Communication . . .
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I am at a lost for a dinner menu.
Honestly, I am so over turkey and dressing, collard greens, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes covered in turkey gravy, corn, candy yams and sweet potato-pie with a dollop of cool-whip. But if I met one person that has never feasted on such a lavish Thanksgiving meal I would find the strength to prepare it and cultivate an appetite to eat it once again.
Yesterday my cousin Theresa told me I was not the person she once knew. She said, “You’ve changed.” She went on to express how she remembered my tearful outbursts and moments later how I would be extremely happy, or short-tempered. Honestly, I had forgotten those moments and the young woman that felt life was not worth living. And I find it spiritually amazing how God will allow others to remind you of days gone by. And how the kindness of others helped transformed your life during difficult moments. As a result of my transformation I am grateful for all things.
So today I am taking the time to search for and post inspiring messages to help someone along the way. If the message I share is not for you please pass it on. You never know who will need words of encouragement. So to kick off my inspirational Friday messages is the below video of a businessman’s compassion for humanity.