Archive for June 10th, 2011

What Color Are Apples?

The class was asked, “What color are apples?”
“Red. Yellow. Green,” they responded enthusiastically.
One boy sat silent. “Yes, Johnny?”
“I think they are white,” he told the teacher.
She scolded him, “Everyone knows apples are red or yellow or green.”
“Not when you look on the inside,” he said.

Thanks, Terry Hershey for this story.

There’s such a depth of wisdom in this little story, don’t you think?

I suppose, we do this so often –  see things only in one way. We see  only a part of the truth and are not open to the whole reality.  This is particularly so, with a problem situation. By focusing on one thing – the problem, we  end up missing the other – most often, the solution.

For example, we’ve been going a particular store to buy our vegetables and fruits. On the same street are lot of other stores that we need to visit too. But once we’d bought our veggies we were so loaded that we had to head straight home. This was becoming a problem and also a waste of energy in some way. We did know that this store did home deliveries, but we wanted to make our own selection, and use a credit card, and so we were stuck. Until we looked at the ‘problem’ another way…..and got a solution. Now we go to the shop and make our selection, make payment by card, and have them home-deliver it, free of cost!!  We found another color for our apples (quite literally!).

The story can be viewed in another way too….We look at things on the surface and don’t go deeper to see what’s ‘inside’. For example, most often, we end up judging people based on one incident or a few incidents. We don’t really take the trouble to understand why they’re behaving that way.

I recall a person I knew, not very personally, who suddenly started behaving rather strangely. She would keep visiting me, calling me and insisting me to find her a job.  I must confess, I started avoiding her. Her behavior seemed very changed from the time I first knew her and I wondered if she was heading for a nervous breakdown. Until one day I was told that she was rushed to hospital with a severe headache, only to learn that she had a brain tumor, which according to doctors had been steadily growing over the years! At once, I underwent a change of perception. I now realized I was too quick to judge from the outside, not knowing what was happening on the ‘inside’.

From now on, whenever I’m quick to judge someone or stuck with a problem situation, I’m going to ask myself, “What color are apples?”

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