Tuesday, December 23, 2008

An Apple a Day

Person: That apple is rotten.

Brian in Mpls: It is all relative.

Person: Relative to what?

Brian in Mpls: How hungry the person is holding it.

Of all the expressions I hate the most, one that continually tops my list is.."One bad apple spoils the bunch."

The truth is all apples spoil given a long enough time line. Whether they are in a bunch or not. There are not magical apples out there that refuse to spoil or will only spoil when around already spoiled apples. The causality is life cycle, oxidation, lack of water, etc. It has almost nothing to do with the other apples, other then they all share the same properties. Yes some rot faster then others but all will rot eventually.

You hear this expression used most by parents who want to escape blame for their children's actions. They shift focus from the circumstances and natural process and blame the other apples or the children's peer group.

Failing to realize that peer groups tend to be selected based on common elements that are usually outside of the children's control. I.e Social-Economic status, School choice, emotional relativity, family structure, early experience etc. They blame the other apples rather then examine the forces that caused them to bunch in the first place.

PS Happy Festivus:)


Sornie said...

The only apple that won't spoil is sold at Michael's. I think we both know why it won't spoil.

Rocketstar said...

I think the saying is correct in that due to the early introduction of the bacteria that is eating the rottne apple, it does cause the other apples in contact with the rotten apple to prematuraly rot. ;o)

But you are right in that the analogy is false for the kids. We are trying to raise intelligent leaders rather than followers so they are more immune to the rotting. In the end it is our doing, not the other bad apples doing.

Happy Festivus man. Did you hear that one of the Freedom From Religion signs at one of the state capitals was stolen... the foundation is replacing the stolen sign with one that reads, "Thou shalt not steal". You have to love it.