By: Loren C. Due, Ph.D.
There are two types of pains, one that hurts you and the other that changes you! When the proverbial apple falls it depends where it lands whether or not it hits you in the head. If you were standing directly under the apple tree and the apple fell it probably fell on your head which means you got a direct hit. The question is whether or not the direct hit caused you to change your mind about how you think and act. If before the direct hit you were determined to be ruthless and callous did the direct hit of information cause you to realize that you needed to change? On the other hand did the direct hit provoke you to change immediately?
What I am talking about are conversations about someone who has been describe to be like the apple that does not fall far from the tree. I first hear this phrase while living in Colorado from one of the horse trainers about their son. I did not know what they were talking about but I pretended to agree and understand. Over the years I have heard that phrase more and more to the point that I began to use it when I encountered someone who fit the description. The description of the person that helped me to understand the euphemism acted just like his father. He didn’t think that he was like his father but when we finished analyzing the situations he had to finally agree.
The thing that hit me was looking back over my short life I used the phrase the apple doesn’t fall from the tree to describe myself. It shocked me that I had used that phrase to describe phases of my life. At first when I said it I was
It startled me to think of the situation in my life that resembled what my father had been like. It was more than a scary to think that I could have lived my whole life to this point and come to find out that I was just like my father. I was devastated.
If you ever come to this point in your life where you are looking back on your own life and make the comparison of yourself to your father it can be disheartening or if you are comparing yourself to your mother and you are her only daughter it could be devastating to discover you are just like her. If you find that you don’t have anything that differentiates you from your parent you can always ask a friend to point your differences and similarities to your parent.
The reflection of yourself to your parent is only bad when you realized that you have failed just like your parent. When you look back and realize that it was not fate that haunted you but the genes you inherited. All I can say is that when I really evaluated how much of the apple my life represents I became incensed and determined not to be like my dad. The problem with that thinking is that the harder you try not to be like someone the more you end up following in their footsteps.
When you are running from your parents footsteps and know you are running for your life it seems that something catches up with you that undeniably causes you to make the same decision(s) they would have made. It is almost like you are walking in their footsteps as they walk along the path for their life. It is painful when you realize that you have failed like your parent(s). What I finally did was to take considerable time and look back on my life and account for all the things that my dad had not done that I done.
In looking back at what I had accomplished and my dad did not it give me hope that I would not completely walk in his footsteps the rest of my life? My discovery gave me hope that I would leave the planet having done more than my father and mother. Its’ not that I am competitive but I know there are things that were done by my dad that hurt a lot of people and I want to be sure that my legacy is one of helping not hurting people. I want my apple to be on the other side of the tree.
Is your apple still on the tree?