The parable of the grapefruit

Better, in my opinion, than the other parable of the grapefruit (which I find mildly annoying).

This morning my 3 year-old and I split a grapefruit. After halving it and cutting loose the segments, I placed her half on her plate. I watched as she picked at the seeds clustered around the middle. Then she asked me to pull them out. Instead, I showed her that when I used my spoon to pull out the segments, the seeds either fell off or were much easier to separate. Many of the tiniest seeds weren’t even noticeable.

Lesson: focusing on the flaws of something or someone before engaging with them – demanding that they fix every little flaw – will result in spending all our time identifying those flaws. When we start building a relationship or participating, we get the good stuff while more easily separating out the bad. There will be a few small bad things left, but they will be too small to harm us.

This parable has limits, of course. You could have a bad grapefruit. Or maybe you’re eating pufferfish. It might be good to ask yourself if you should eat pufferfish. Regardless, it’s worth figuring out whether something or someone is a grapefruit or a pufferfish, and then engaging accordingly.

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