We all know the saying, compare apples to apples, and we all know it doesn’t make sense to compare apples to oranges. This photo of apples in a Japanese grocery store reminded me that sometimes comparing apples to apples doesn’t even make sense. Let me explain.
I interacted with a vendor/friend of mine and we started talking about how old we were. It ends up that she is one year younger than me. A lifetime smoker, who has worked outside in the sun most of her life, and has earned her living doing manual labor. As we say in the south ‘she’s been rode hard and put up wet’, meaning she’s had a rough life. She is fabulous at what she does, and she recognizes that she has worked very hard for everything she has done. I am pale and sunburn badly, college educated which translates to me working in an office most of my career, and I have been blessed to not have to do manual labor for my living. Two women, same physical demographics yet very different people. The apples to apples thing doesn’t translate well for the two of us.
Until we know people we do not really know who they are or what their life experiences have taught them. They may look like an apple and yet inside they are very different from other apples. It’s easier for us to treat everyone the same, however most of the time that doesn’t work long term. As individuals we want to be treated and understood as individuals. We want people to take the time to get to know who we are and not judge us simply by our appearance or basic demographics…which means we have to put in the effort to do the same. This is when the golden rule comes into play – do unto others as you would have done unto you. If you want people to treat you as an individual then stop treating everyone like an apple. Let this be a reminder that even the apples are not like all other apples. Take the time to celebrate the individuality of those around you, and allow them to do the same for you.