Rule #6: Apples & Trees (& Nuts)


Rule #6
– The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (Neither do the nuts.)

This is one of those clichés that gets thrown around so much that people don’t really think about what it means. It’s like You can’t judge a book by its cover. – Or – A Wink is as good as a nod…. to a blind horse…… Wait…. that’s the title of a 1971 album by the band Faces (featuring a much younger Rod Stewart on vocals). Anyway….

The point is that after a while the wisdom of the adage gets stuck on the back burner, especially after we’ve had it up to here after hearing it so much that one more time is going to put us through the roof. (Take that! – 3 clichés in one sentence.)

Some call The Beatles song Yesterday the greatest popular song ever, and they can’t get enough of it. However, others will say, “Good song, but I heard it so much that I got sick of it.” I say, that’s not the song’s fault. You might blame the Beatles or their record company, but you can’t blame the song itself.

People tend to view Rule #6 through a negative lens. They see it as a parental warning: Beware! Your bad traits will be revisited in your children! Therefore, some conclude that they need to hide, disguise, or eliminate their negative traits.

I say, try looking through the other end of the telescope, or look on the bright side. (Sorry, but at least I’m down to two clichés per sentence.) You will then see that your positive traits will also be revisited in your children. So, rather than focus on disguising your bad traits, focus on developing your good ones.

Although I don’t think he was a parent, author James Baldwin (1924-1987) hit the nail on the head (whoops!) when he noted, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

So, think about how it all applies to you. Trust me, it’s not apples and oranges.

Onward, Malcolm Gauld