Comparing ourselves to one another is silly. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. We are all different enough that we are not comparing like things.
“Are you comparing the right things?” hubby asked.
“I think so.”
“It has to be apples and apples. Not apples and oranges?”
“What? I’m comparing myself to Sally, not fruit.”
“That’s my point,” he said. “An apple and an orange are both fruit, but they are totally different. You have to compare like things.”
Maybe you are confused. Because I was. So let me explain
As people we compare ourselves to others all the time.
People we know. People we don’t know. People in edited pictures. People in books. And unless we are careful, we end up comparing apples to oranges.
Let me explain.
An apple and an orange are both fruit, but they are very different. One has smooth, eatable skin, the other a thick peel. One has hard crunchy insides, the other juicy and soft insides. One makes a wonderful pie, the other sweet pulpy juice.
Not only do they look different, taste different, are prepared differently, and have different roles in recipes, they grow on different trees and in different climates.
The Big fruit salad (or big picture).
Apples and oranges are like people. Different, and yet alike.
You may be an apple, but if you are comparing yourself to an orange, you are not comparing yourself to the right things.
We do this all the time.
We compare ourselves to someone we read about, but have not met (we only know a fraction of their story). We compare ourselves to a photo (which is posed and may be touched up and is not the whole truth). And we compare ourselves to people we know (but do we really know their whole story?)
Now I am not suggesting you go out and find a person with your Enneagram number, your hair color and age, someone who is most like you, and compare yourself with them. What I am saying is that we are all different, which means we are comparing an apple to an orange.
Some of us may be oranges. Some apples. Others are star fruit. Or cherries. Even blueberries. And watermelon. Comparing ourselves to one another is silly. We are all different enough that we will either feel like we win the contest and think better about ourselves and be prideful, or we may lose the contest and feel like the loser and berate ourselves.
If you are a grape, comparing yourself to a banana, it doesn’t do them or you any good. No matter how hard you try to reshape yourself to be anything but a grape, you will still be a grape. A grape and banana are just too different. Each will attract different types of friends, excel in different situations, have different strengths, and like different things.
Capitalizing on your fruit type.
Stop trying to be like a different fruit and just be the best you.
- Learn about your strengths and talents and use these. (An orange will never have a crunchy interior, but it makes great juice.)
- Learn about your weaknesses and realize these will never be your strengths. (A blueberry bruises easier than an apple, but it can be sprinkled on top of yogurt.)
- Know your limits, what you can and can’t do, so you can use your energy and time wisely. This involves setting boundaries and learning to say no. An apple is packed with more energy (13 calories) than a blackberry (2 calories).
- Capitalize on what you are good at. (A coconut has a tough shell and can be thrown and tossed without harm, but a tossed banana turns into a pile of sticky slime.)
- Quit wanting to be something you can’t be. (A raspberry will never be the color of an apricot.)
- Collect people who like your specific type of fruit. (Cherries, anyone?)
When we realize we are not all the same, we can stop competing and instead focus on making ourselves the best us.
We will never be the fruit of everyone’s choice.
We all want to be popular and chosen, but it doesn’t work that way.
Some people like apples. And some people don’t. Some people like strawberries, others don’t. And that’s alright. Find people who like you as you are, with your unique talents and capabilities and be there for them. Don’t get offended that you are not everyone’s favorite fruit.
All the fruits are chosen, necessary, and needed. We don’t need to compete with one another.
Knowing we are a gooseberry and appreciating our gooseberry-ness will allow us to grow and develop and be the best gooseberry we can be. We will be content, reap a bountiful harvest, and bless those around us.
And together we will be the most delicious fruit salad.
Thanks for stopping by.
Remember to be the best you. God only made one of you and we need you.
Join the discussion: What fruit are you?