Once upon a time there lived an apple farmer. He was very good at growing apples and it gave him great satisfaction to see all his hard work over the year come to fruition with a glorious harvest.
On one particular morning as the farmer is taking his dog for a walk, he notices something out of place.
There’s one bad apple sitting high up on his most prized bountiful tree.
“If that one bad apple were to spread to the rest of the apples and then the rest of the field my whole crop will be spoilt” he says to himself “I must do something, but what?”
He goes to the tractor shed to fetch a long pole. “That way I can poke it out the tree and stop the problem” He says to himself.
Try as he might the long pole just isn’t quite long enough and in an attempt to get that one bad apple a few goods ones are knock to the floor.
“This is no good” he says to himself “I need a better idea”
It’s once again back to the tractor shed, this time for a catapult. “That way I can shoot the one bad apple off it’s branch and my problem will be solved” he says to himself
Try as he might, our farmers aim isn’t so good and he can’t hit that one bad apple to save his life. In all the badly aimed and missed attempts a few good apples are also knocked to the floor.
“This is no good” he thinks to himself “a better solution is need one that is fool proof.
It’s once again back to the tractor shed, this time the plan is to shake the tree so that one bad apple may fall to the ground solving the problem once and for all.
Try as he might no matter how hard the farmer shakes the tree that one bad apple just won’t budge. And in all his attempts a few good apples are shaken loose and fall to the ground.
A few more days pass and the farmer is now obsessed with that one bad apple sitting at the top of the tree.
With one final fool proof plan of attack the farmer arms himself with a chainsaw, if he can’t poke it out, shoot it out, or shake it out of the tree then he’s going to cut off the branch. That way he is sure he will rid himself of that one bad apple.
The farmer arrives at his prized apple tree and notices something for the first time. With all his concentration and days being taken up with that one bad apple, he had knocked, shaken and poked all the other apples to the ground where they now lay rotting. In an attempt to stop that one bad apple spreading to the rest, he had forgotten to notice all the other wonderful apples that had ripened on his prized apple tree.
Author: Dhamma Tāpasā*
Moral of the Story:
Sometimes we spend too much time and effort looking at the One Bad Apple in our lives. What we forget to do is remember all the other wonderful apples we already have sitting in our apple tree.
Take time today too focus not on the one bad apple but the many ripe and wonderful apples you already have in your life.
Maybe if your struggling to find those positives in your life at the moment. Try this wonderful exercise to do just that. It’s called The 7 Wonders Of Life an exercise I developed when I was a Buddhist Monk for foreign tourists to focus their minds towards a more positive outlook rather than that of negativity. Give it a go!
*Dhamma Tāpasā a trained ex Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. An inspirational teacher of mindfulness and meditation techniques through the art of storytelling. Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture our imaginations whilst teaching us valuable moral principles and deepening our understanding of the human consciousness and the everyday problems we face.