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The Apple

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Hi everybody, Ed Green here. Today I’m starting a series I’m calling “Coaches Corner”.

Coaches Corner will explore influences on the human condition and the choices we make because of it. Using inspirational stories with life lessons to encourage and inspire you to be the best you can be, and when the opportunity arises, help others be the best they can be.

These are not all my stories. These are stories I’ve come across, most of them anonymous. I thought these stories would serve this purpose.

To kick off this series, I’d like to start with a story that had no title. I’m calling it "The Apple".

But first...has this ever happened to you? You come to a conclusion about something and act on it....and then you find out later that you’ve misjudged the situation. AWKWARD! And in feeling embarrassed, foolish or maybe even defensive, you place the blame elsewhere.

Chances are, you made a judgment without all the information, got impatient and acted too soon. We’ve all been there, probably more than once.

It’s what you do next in that moment of awkwardness that determines the outcome of a situation or the make or break of a relationship. “The Apple” is a story about this and how powerful the simple act of withholding judgment can be.

A father and his daughter were playing in the park. His young daughter spotted an apple vendor and asked her father to buy her an apple. The father had enough money to purchase two apples, so he bought two apples and gave them to his daughter.

His daughter held one apple in each hand. Then her father asked her if she would share one of the apples. Upon hearing this, his daughter quickly took a bite from one apple. Then, before her father could say anything, she took a bite from the second apple.

The father was shocked and surprised. He wondered what mistakes he made raising his daughter that she acted in such a selfish and greedy way. He then got caught up in other thoughts. He thought perhaps he was just thinking too much; that his daughter was too young to understand about sharing and giving. In thinking this, his smile had disappeared from his face.

Suddenly, his daughter, holding up an apple in her hand said, “Father, have this one, this one is much juicier and sweeter”. Her father was speechless. He felt bad about coming to this judgment so quickly about a small child. But his smile came back knowing why his daughter quickly took a bite from each apple. Feeling much closer to his daughter and having a wonderful afternoon, he realized how different the day would’ve been had he withheld judgment.

The moral of the story: don’t judge anything or jump to conclusions too quickly.Allow yourself to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Positive thoughts often can make all the difference. Here are a few options to help with that:

Coaches Tips of the Day:

  1. Suspend judgment and take time to understand things better. Sometimes it may just take patience for things to unfold.

  2. Before you say or do anything make sure you have all the information instead of making assumptions. This will help you to avoid that moment of awkwardness.

  3. Make inquiries for the information you don’t have in an authentic, rather than adversarial manner.

  4. Be open to other reasons for the situation. Allow reasoning to influence your conclusion first, then decide how you feel.

  5. Sometimes, you need someone else to take a look at your thoughts- using an outside perspective! There is no harm in asking for help, and oftentimes, having someone that you know you will have to tell later about a lapse in judgement, allows you to have more pause in that moment. This could be someone such as a therapist or life coach.

When you discover things are not as you thought or appeared in that moment of awkwardness, remember this: life is a series of experiences connected by the choices you made leading to that moment. What experience will you choose next? Will you choose to acknowledge your error in judgment? Will you choose to give an apology? Will you choose to give or seek forgiveness? Choose your next experience wisely. 🙏🏿

-Ed Green, LCSW

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