Once upon a time in a house without a picket fence, there arrived a shiny bag of the reddest, crispest and juiciest apples you could ever taste. The father of the house handpicked them, knowing they would tempt even the fussiest of apple eaters in the family. They were placed on display in the shiny fruit bowl on the kitchen bench top along with the bananas and pears. However, it was the festive season and into the house came a selection of summer fruits and Christmas treats, making the usual healthy choices pale into insignificance. Days turned into weeks and then all too soon it was New Years. The passed over apples were duller, softer and a little bit wrinkly. The mother awoke from her festive food coma and did what all good mothers do, started decluttering and organising for a productive start to the new year. Alas, what was to become of the apples?
This little tale, is not told to highlight the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. That is indeed important, however there is another point to the tale. It is to remind us that everything depends on your perspective. If you view apples as a snack, then a red, crisp and juicy apple is tasty and satisfying. However, if your perspective is broader, you will look for alternative uses. For example, you will be curious about what you could do with older apples. For example, you could make an apple dessert. Kelli Foster, from Kitchn explains that “As the apples break down during cooking, the remaining liquid is released, and the natural sugars concentrate, transforming them into something remarkably delicious.” New apples could also be seen in this example as not as good as older ones to cook with.
Perspective is how you see the world and situations A lot of the way I see the world has been shaped over the many years of my life which is why changing my perspective is easier to say than do. We all gain our view of the world in many ways including our upbringing, culture, mindset, education, experiences etc, etc.
Challenging the way we see the world and changing our perspective first requires us to stop and recognise the way you automatically think and act. Are there things you do on autopilot, or do you have a go to perspective? For example, in my world, blue and black should never be worn together. What about you? Do you say no to some opportunities out of habit, and what is the cost? Or worse, do you say yes to things that don’t really bring you joy but it’s what you have always done?
New Year is considered an opportunity to reset, to experience and see things anew. Kids give us the amazing opportunity to embrace the strength of perspective. Through them, we can develop our family’s ability to see the big picture and alternative points of view. Developing it could be as simple as:
Challenging the way you think by being quiet and listen. All too often when our child starts talking we are busy thinking about our answer rather than really paying attention to what they are saying or asking. When it is time to speak, remember you already know what you think so ask lots of questions to understand where people are coming from.
Spending time with new people. Why not take the opportunity to get to know a family of one of your child’s friends? Remember, you don’t have to become best friends.
Exposing yourself and your family to different sources of information. It could be by reading or watching programs more broadly than your usual taste. You could even keep up to date with a family friendly perspective on the news. Commonsense media has a list of sites you can try https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/best-news-sources-for-kids
Perspective is a strength that will enable you and your children to get the most out of life and be resilient when life gives you dull, soft and wrinkly apples. Oh, if you want a use for your passed over apples, here is the link to Kelli’s Kitchn page on eight uses for the more senior apples.