So we missed last week’s post. That’s another story for another day. But today, this week, we’re talking about the likeness between people and grapes. I'm asking you to be a bright spot in alignment with our Week 37 theme.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world can be a dark and dreary place. Take a look at your social media feeds or the local/national news and you’ll see tragedy and sadness abound. Does that mean that the majority of our world is negative or just our feed? If I have a bunch of grapes still on the vine, and I see one starting to wither towards raisin status, do I throw out the entire bunch or inspect the rest of the grapes first? Most of us will inspect the other grapes first to see how many are still good. Why don’t we give humans the same benefit of the doubt during inspection?
Finding the Bad Grapes
One person commits a crime or does something we perceive as wrong and we proceed to lump everyone else in similar subgroups with the same negative labels we place upon the one in the wrong. By that thinking, we force others (through no choice or doing of their own) to prove they are “different than,” instead of giving them the benefit of the doubt of being a basically good human being. In those moments, we’re actively in search of the other bad grapes instead of counting how many are still good. Even just 5 good grapes are 5 more than you would’ve had if you threw out the entire bunch because of one bad one.
Okay, picture it, a bunch of red grapes (or green - no diss to your favorite) of varying sizes, but similar shades. They’ve been washed and are still somewhat firm to the touch. You grab one off the bunch, pop it into your mouth and chomp down knowing that this will be the sweetest grape you eat.
In fact, it just made you pucker with a force that caused your neck to cramp and cheeks to curve inward. You realize that the grape you just ate was smaller in size than the grape beside it and pick off the larger grape. Why? To see if that one’s sweeter. If we can give the benefit of the doubt to grapes, we can do the same for human beings.
What If We Were Grapeful...
I have yet to find a stranger that doesn’t return the gesture when I smile at them. Even the seemingly grumpiest of grumps (or sour grapes) will return a smile. How different would the world be if we highlighted more positive stories than negative, if we pointed out what people do well instead of where they stumble, if we looked at the world the same way we looked at that bunch of grapes that we hope to salvage? What shifts would we see in the way we treat each other, what we identify within each other, if we chose to be a bright spot in the world?
What's Your Flavor?
All grapes vary in color, size, flavor, origin, and purpose. Not all grapes are green, not all of them red, not all of them black. Not all of them offer the same grape flavor, and yet we'd think it absurd to ask a green grape to taste and look more like a red grape in order to be accepted. Red grapes shining in the jelly realm don't take away from green grapes' snack-ability. It's okay to acknowledge our differences and the value they add. Doing so does not take away from your value as a person, just as a red grape acknowledging a green grape's shine doesn't take away from their value as a toast topper.
Some grapes will become wine, others jelly or jam, and some will be eaten fresh or dried - straight up or as an accoutrement on a variety of salads. People are no different. We vary in height, weight, ethnicity, culture, origin, and career. Ultimately though, we’re all here to add value to the world, just like grapes. Recognizing all of this can change how we see each other and the world.
Be a bright spot. The World needs you. #Go52
C. L. Fails