There was a village amongst tall hills and lush meadows. The village was small and the neighbors were friendly and peaceful. The cottages resembled large mushrooms with thatched rooftops and white washed walls. Flower boxes adorned every window and cobblestone paths linked the many inhabitants of the society.
Almost as beautiful as the blue skies, cotton clouds, and many meadows were the apple orchards surrounding the village. Indeed, like ripples in water, ring after ring of orchards cradled the town of ALL Variety. In the springtime, the scent of blossoms and the glory of the trees filled the air with joy and bliss.
Something ODD the villagers did every fall time at harvest was to bunch the apple bounty in hundreds of barrels according to color and sweetness. The town square was filled, table tops, steps and stoops and walkways were lined with the many barrels.
You see, APPLES have GREAT nutrition.
The Villagers PRIDED themselves on their HEALTH and Nutrition and Vigor and Vitality.
Study after study after study could validate their knowledge and vocations as Apple Experts to PROVE that APPLES are beneficial for physical health.
Once the apples were gathered, all the young children who were "of age"... the age of "AFTER being a young child but BEFORE being a teenager" and given the choice of WHICH apple to choose to eat. Red, Gold, Green, Pink... etc. WHICH apple would they decide to nourish their little frame.
The idea, you see, was to encourage the children to CHOOSE Health and Wellness and set them upon the PATH of Health and Wellness for life.
Naturally, as every child chose, the parents of those children knodded along knowingly and proud to see which apple their child held.
The odd thing is... in the end; they all chose apples. Because that was presented. That was the option.
Apple... or Apple... or Be HUNGRY.
I can't help but wonder what they would choose if given barrel after barrel, tray after tray of Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Succulent roasts and sugared candies... carmels and chocolates, vegetable platters, baked squash, steamed broccoli.... would they have chosen the APPLE?
And, IF in fact they did CHOOSE the APPLE--- was it the MOST HEALTHY CHOICE for them? Every physical body has different chemistry. Some people assimilate nutrients differently- is an APPLE always the healthiest option?
Ahhhhh, if SO.. IF it IS the most healthy food to eat, and IF they were given a plethora of food choices and STILL grasped an apple in their tiny little hands... wouldn't THAT be the REAL decision- the REAL choice?
Not APPLE or be hungry... but HEALTHY or unhealthy.
Many times as parents we expose our children to OUR way of living. We condescendingly assume that OUR way is THE WAY for ALL to be and live.
When they choose our lifestyle or our religion... have they chosen?
Have they exercised their own freeagency?
I once heard an analogy of two leaders who wanted their followers to choose the "right" way. One leader said "I will make them choose the way- and none will be lost." The other leader said "They must have the FREEAGENCY to CHOOSE their own way... only then do they know their power. Only then do they TRULY know their Divinity."
Has the choice been Apple--- or be hungry?