How People are Like Apples

The next time you eat an apple consider thinking about the following. 

Apples originated at least 9 million years ago and are naturally highly diverse. They have at least twice as many genes as people. Left to their own devices every apple seed would grow into a tree that produces unique apples. 

Yet, most of us know a very limited number of varieties of apples. These are the ones that have been selected and cloned (or grafted) so that they are homogeneous. We have been manipulating them in this way for almost 3,000 years and in other ways for at least 8,000 years—perhaps much longer. Now when we go to any store or market we find the same dozen or so apple varieties.

Like apples, we humans tend to be homogenized. Though instead of being grafted or cloned we are shaped by social pressure. At times those social pressures are more intense. In extreme times these pressures are accompanied by threats and acts of violence and even backed governments including through court and police actions. The goal of this pressure is to propagate a limited number of acceptable varieties of thought and people.  

We all must confront and mitigate these pressures for the good of our collective diversity and humanity. Beyond direct action, one way to push back on the pressures that seek to homogenize us is to know and live your life philosophy. Each of ours is unique. Yours will bring clarity to how you seek for the world to be and spur fortitude to act upon it. We each need not become a cloned standard variety.

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