Friday, January 31, 2014

Low Hanging Fruit

Ever notice that fruit trees have a beautiful blossom and that the fragrance is wonderful? 

When I lived in California, you could smell an orange grove way before you actually saw it.  The smell is that powerful.  Ever notice that apple trees, in particular, look like they are in pain, especially when the leaves and fruit fall?  Almost old and arthritic.  Branches at odd angles, jutting this way and that way.  Best I can describe it is that it looks painful.

One of the benefits of growing up in the country on the river was that we had our own orchard.  Now, I wouldn’t exactly call it an orchard, but we did have one green apple tree, four crab apple trees, a pear tree (without the partridge), and a cherry tree (without George Washington threatening to chop it down).  And, it wasn’t the kind of orchard we spent a lot of time on, nor did we do a lot of work to it.

The trees would bear fruit.  We picked the fruit when the time came, and we filled our beat up bushel baskets, and then carried the lot of them to the end of the gravel driveway where the driveway met the blacktop of Highway 33.  We would set up our lawn chair next to the mailboxes, and sold them to any willing passersby.  Didn’t make a lot of money, but it was something to do on a fall Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

My dad would instruct the shorter ones among us to pick the fruit off of the branches we could reach, while the older, bigger ones among us climbed the ladder or the tree itself and picked the fruit off the higher branches.  It was an all day, many day chore.  After the picking, the apples, cherries or pears that didn’t make the baskets were raked up and disposed of. 

Got me thinking . . .

You’ve heard the expression, “Low Hanging Fruit.”  To me it means, that which is easily obtained without much effort, without much work, without much sweat.

Low Hanging Fruit.

Nothing wrong with picking Low Hanging Fruit.  Nothing wrong at all.  It’s there for the taking.  It’s easy and doesn’t take much effort.

We see opportunities in our daily lives:  a simple “Hello!” “Thank you!” “I’m sorry!” None of these take much effort and there are plenty of opportunities for us each day, many times a day.

Low Hanging Fruit.

A compliment.  A pat on the back.  A willingness to listen.  A willingness to help dry someone’s tears.  Showing empathy.  Showing courtesy.  Showing respect.  A gentle touch.  Reaching out to another in time of need.  Giving the gift of self.

Nothing great, glorious or glamorous.  But what a terrific reward for both the giver and the receiver!

Low Hanging Fruit.

No need to climb a ladder or climb the tree, unless you want to . . . are able to . . . reach for more, reach higher. 

Some have the ability to climb without fear or trepidation, without fear of falling.  And perhaps the benefits are just as great, maybe greater, than picking off the lower branches.

It comes down to comfort level and a willingness to pick.  All it takes is a willingness to gather.  All it takes is a willingness to protect before the fruit falls to the ground and is ruined, or damaged, or judged no good to use or eat.  Whether you pick the Low Hanging Fruit or climb up a ladder to pick the fruit off the upper branches does not really matter, as long as you Pick the Fruit.  Each day.  Every day.  And many, many times a day.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!



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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe