Please, sir, don't throw away that apple core.
Don't worry, this is not one of those "save the earth," "reduce, reuse, recycle," "pollution is icky" lectures. I want you to eat the core for you, not Mother Earth.If you're like most Americans, eating around the apple core is something you've done your whole life. You learned from someone in your family, watching them eat around and following suit. All those childhood episodes of Rugrats ingrained in you a distinct fear of eating seeds, because honestly, watermelon-explosion is a miserable way to go. And those few times you accidentally bit too deeply into your fruit of choice, the texture of the core was all off.
So you continue to eat around the core, tossing almost a third of the apple into the trash.
Imagine, however, if you turned the apple on its head. You took bites of the yummy, fleshy outside, but in each chomp you swallowed just a little bit of the core too. You wouldn't taste the tougher texture of the core because it would blend in with the rest of the bite. If you kept this up, you'd eventually eat the whole apple, from base to stem. Along the way, you may swallow a few seeds, but come on – we all know you won't grow apples in your stomach.
This sounds crazy, I know. But for most of human history, this was probably how all humans ate apples. There was none of this nonsense about avoiding the core; our cave-dwelling ancestors chomped the whole thing down. As society evolved and social classes developed, the wealthy began eating around the core, unconcerned about waste, and eventually, our core-avoiding culture emerged.
Enter the metaphor; should we really be carefully avoiding the tough centers of our lives? It'd be some sort of student who could learn Spanish without ever taking tests or studying. The athlete who never lifted weights or ran a hard mile but still reached the peak of his sports, ever heard of him? Yeah, me neither.
The truth is, life is all about the good and the bad. You have to take both in stride to keep your sanity. If you consistently throw away things that intimidate you or challenge you, you'll never grow and certainly never prosper. In relationships, you cannot simply throw away the deepest part of a loved one's personality because you find it hard to swallow. No, loving someone means accepting even their densest character flaws.
Much of a successful life revolves around trying new things, making the most of a situation, cliché, cliché, cliché. Why should we preach the importance of tenacity and hard work if we can't even eat a whole apple?
Next time you have an apple, you'll think of this column and consider turning that apple upside down. Some of you will let the fleeting notion pass, unconvinced that the method of eating an apple reflects your character. You will pitch that core at the nearest trashcan, content to continue the traditional eat-around-the-problem approach.
But for those of you who take this metaphorical Friday column to heart, the curiosity will overwhelm you. You brave few will turn that apple upside down, sink your teeth deep and understand the meaning of satisfaction. You will eat it, core and all. You will never again leave a third of your life unexamined.One piece of advice: Be sure to throw away the stem. That's probably not edible.
— RJ Vogt is a sophomore in College Scholars. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.