Of Gods and Pears

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Of Gods and Pears

An original thread from the Hivemind Mailing list archives, originally appeared on the list and the old wiki and has been restored to former glory on the new wiki.

It begins with the story of a disabled child, posted by semaJ:

From semaJ
In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning
disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire
school career, while others can be main-streamed into conventional
At a Chush fund-raising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered
a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After
extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, "Where
is the perfection in my son Shaya? Everything God does is done with
perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children
do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do.
Where is God's perfection?"
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father's
anguish and stilled by the piercing query. "I believe," the father
answered, "that when God brings a child like this into the world, the
perfection that he seeks is in the way people react to this child."
He then told the following story about his son Shaya: One afternoon
Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys Shaya knew
were playing baseball. Shaya asked, "Do you think they will let me
play?" Shaya's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and
that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya's father
understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a
comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya's father approached one of the
boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play.
The boy looked around for guidance from his team-mates. Getting none,
he took matters into his own hands and said "We are losing by six runs
and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team
and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning."
Shaya's father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told
to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom
of the eighth inning, Shaya's team scored a few runs but was still
behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shaya's team
scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the
potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would
the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away
their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all
but impossible because Shaya didn't even know how to hold the bat
properly, let alone hit with it. However as Shaya stepped up to the
plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so
Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in
and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya's team-mates came
up to Shaya and together the held the bat and faced the pitcher
waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps
forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in,
Shaya and his team-mate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow
ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder
and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya
would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the
pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far
beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shaya,
run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shaya run to
first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled. By the
time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could
have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Shaya,
who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the
pitcher's intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the
third baseman's head. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to
second." Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him
deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second
base, the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction
of third base and shouted, "Run to third." As Shaya rounded third,
the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, "Shaya run home."
Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him
on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a "grand
slam" and won the game for his team.
"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his
face, "those 18 boys reached their level of God's perfection."
semaJ continues
Funny how this is so true and shame on us! Funny how simple it is for
people to trash God and then wonder why the world is going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the
Bible says. Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail
and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages
regarding God, and something good, people think twice about
Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through
cyberspace, but the public discussion of God is suppressed in the
school and workplace. Funny isn't it? Funny how when you go to
forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address
list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will
think of you for sending it to them. Funny how I can be more worried
about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me.
Funny isn't it?!
Antoine was the first to comment
Beautiful story, but why on earth would anyone want to drag God into
it? Near as I could see the only people present were people.
FrankE had an answer
Because those who believe in God see God in all good things around
them. Those who do not see only the actions of people. Funny, though,
that those who believe in God seem to blame people for the bad things
in the world, and thank God for the good things. And those who don't
believe in God, thank people or themselves for the good things, and
blame God for the bad things :)
We're a pretty screwed up buncha humanoids, we are. :)
Ivo, plus disclaimer
And the smart people will claim credit for the good things
and blame other people for the bad things.
(No offence, implied or otherwise, intended to those who do
believe in a god in whatever form/shape. Far be it from me
to claim knowledge on a subject I cannot prove either way.)
semaJ again
Just thought it was cute.
Bretton agrees
It was ... one thing that got me is it still contained the
"forward to all your friends" thing ... i.e. an example of
one of these strange email based memes that exist these days.
While some are blatant about forwarding stuff to everyone,
this one asks you to question who you choose to send it to.
Chances are good that in this fashion it will only go to
certain people and thus stay 'alive' for considerably longer.
(And at risk of offending certain people, I've found that
some vigorous christians who have email access often forward
just about every email they get and don't consider any of it
spam because they're 'doing god's work' or something to that
effect ... strange how I haven't had an early morning
solicitation via email by any jehovah's witnesses yet ...
they seem to prefer knocking on my door :-/ )
cameronjames remembered
That reminds me...
What do you get when you cross a Jehovah's witness with a hells
angel??.....Someone who knocks on your door every Sunday
morning ant tells you to F*ck off!!!!....LOL;)
Not that I intend to spark a religious flame-war here, but it
seems that most religions blame people for everything bad, and
then praise a deity for everything good. What is inherently
wrong about believing that people can do good with being forced
into it by a god? Why shouldn't people occasionally do something
nice by themselves, without worrying about the number of karmic
brownie points is will earn them?
Most religions seem to go out of their way to deglorify human nature.
Given how lousy said nature usually is, seems to me we should go
out of our way to give credit where it's due, and not deflate it by
saying, "oh, he did something nice. Well, thank god for that."
when we should be saying "oh, he did something nice. People can be
really cool after all."
Just my heretic 2c, of course. I just get sick of people blaming
god for everything, and not taking responsibility for themselves.
<a knocking without>
Jon: who's there?
<a voice>: the Spanish Inquisition!
Jon: but I didn't expect...
Guy, philosophising
I'm not a religious person.....nor do I enjoy religious debates,
but I feel that each and every person contains their gods, and their
beliefs within themselves....
"A christian who takes offence will reap what he has sown."
(From semaJ's "Don't listen to me I'm just talking crap."
to be published in the next millenium.)
And then Alicia mention the avocado
Proof of G-d can be found in the Avocado.
I really believe this.
Or to be more specific, proof of the avocado can be found in guacamole
Hmm.. My mind ranged from "tastey and nutritious once you peel and
pip the fruit" to "goes a nasty smelling greeny black goo if you
hang on to it too long."  :-)
michele asked
But is an Avocado a nut, a fruit, a seed or a veggie?
Alicia took a deep breath and said
An Avo is a fruit containing a seed. It is most often treated as a
vegetable and can be eaten with just about any food, be it vegetable
or dairy, meat or fish, salty or sweet, spicy or burny, raw,
liquidated or cooked. In a lassi (eastern yoghurt drink) it is
sweetened with honey and, contrary to the way it sounds, tastes amazing.
In Delores, Mexico, an avocado ice-cream is available that can wow any
tastebud. Not to mention that brilliant dip, of which avo is the main
Avos are filling, one ripe avo being a meal in itself. They can be
sprinkled with salt, pepper, soy sauce, chilli, curry, vinegar, lemon,
tuna, seafood, mince, salad dressing or etc. There are many varieties,
most of which are found in Venda and, all taste wonderful. Plus, if your
mouth is burning from a curried or chillied dish, a mouthful of avo will
ease the burn.
An avo is nutrious too. Amongst other things, it contains certain fats
that are extremely healthy for human beings. These fats were once thought
to be unhealthy because they are fats but such is not the case.
The trees are sturdy, shady, take only seven to ten years to bear fruit,
and give that fruit for generations.
Only parrots, and perhaps other kinds of birds too, cannot appreciate
avocados. Any part of the tree or fruit ingested is fatal to these
creatures. This could be why avos are found in the wild unpecked.
Good for us, anyway.
Avos are kosher, hallal, fruitarian etc. They fit into almost anyone's
chosen diet. They can also be cooked, although most people prefer them raw.
michele again
And if proof of god is in an avo, then is man created in the avo's image?
What with beer bellies and pregnancies, I'll let you decide.
I think I believe it too.... But for the sceptic in me, please explain the theorem...
It's really very simple. I love avos. Only the most loving, most
benevolent higher power could have created so perfect a fruit for me.
I'm told that G-d loves me, but actions speak louder than words; and
with an avocado, how could S/He say it better?
Gary, being pragmatic
How come the shops almost always sell them not ripe ??
Only G-d knows the truth behind that one! I can guess, though:
Avos are only beautifully ripe for a while before they start going rotten.
Probably the shops don't want to take the chance on shelflife.
There are some places that sell 'ready-to-eat' avos, however.
I think Woolworths is one.
John's shopping tip
Mostly, the best avos come from the dudes selling them at robots for
R10 a bag. They take about a week to ripen, but at least they actually
do ripen before they rot, unlike avos from Spar. Then you have avo glut.
Guy, still philosophising
The ripness of the avocado in the analogy of of being god is quite simple.
We leave god on the window sill, until you feel he is ready to eat
(maybe the eatin is a bad metaphor....but hell it amuses the &^% out of me),
nobody can be as dismissive of god as you can..hence the grocer is not
aloud to dismiss the avo.

Yeeeeeeeeees. <carefully takes a few steps back>

Fruit ripening advice from Alicia
The good news is that you are not left at the mercy of the process of
slowly ripening avocados. You can speed it up by placing unripe avos
in the same bowl as a bunch of bananas. Bananas give off something
(I forget technical word) that makes any fruit or veg ripen faster.
John confirmed
Ethylene. That's why planting nasturtiums amongst your tomatoes helps
them ripen faster. Nasturtium leaves give off Ethylene.
It's also why tomatoes in shops are usually only ripe on the outside.
The tomatoes are picked and then stored in Nitrogen to prevent them
from rotting. Then the nitrogen is replaced with ethylene just before
they're shipped out, which makes them look nice & red from the outside.
But the inside never got to ripen. AFAIK, the whole process is fairly
standard for industrial strength fruit farming.
Alicia, getting excited
Ooooh, John! Do you know much about permaculture? What grows best with
what beside it and how to do it? I'm really keen to know; we grow veggies
and herbs (at least, my brother does, but I'm always very encouraging).
John's gardening tip
http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html is one page I found on
companion planting.
Alicia, getting more excited
Plus, you may know of a natural way to get the avo tree to grow faster
aside from talking to it. I also talk to the lemon tree. No point growing
avos unless you grow lemons too...
[happily dreaming]
Bretton and the tree
We have a huge Avo tree here. It fruited with a good few hundred avo's.
We managed to eat about three. Seems the neighbours know about the tree
too ... two weeks and all gone !!
They didn't taste right though. Now was this because these avo's are
natural and the ones and Pick n Pay are loaded with insecticides etc ...
or is it just a species difference?
Sure your tree wasn't planted from GM sources?? <G>
werner has an answer
it's because they are naturally ripened.
My grandad had an apple tree that bore tiny, hale damaged apples, they
tasted like appletiser. ahhh... memories
Fruit ripening advice from Rocco
Try Microwaving the Avo on high power for a few seconds (depends on
the microwave... so try your own) it works for me to "kick-start" the
ripening... They should be ready to eat the next day :)
I don't know. I tried it on my poodle and that didn't work.
you have a poodle?
no way.
Not any more he doesn't...
I've lately been envisioning a paradise of a garden in which most things
are edible and the rest smell good. All indiginous, of course.
In that case you can't grow tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, fennel, green
papers, brinjal, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary (to mention a few)
- all from elsewhere.
I am a very flexible human being, happy to make general statements which
can then be qualified by valid exceptions. *I* decide what a valid exception
is, of course, and all of the above delicious flora (including the ones that
you did not mention) qualify. Ahem. 0;>
[who never gives up and who never gives in, just changes her mind.]
Heh. I see you've been taking lessons from the caterpillar in Alicia in
Wonderland. Or was it the caterpillar? Sheesh, I can never remember.
So we should, then, redefine the word 'indigenous' to include common and
garden varieties of items that are actually alien to South Africa ...?
Strange idea.
Certainly not. In anybody else's garden, that flora would not be indigenous.
In my imaginary paradise, however, I get to label anything indigenous as I
choose, no matter how foriegn it is.
I get to play G-d, in fact. LOL!
I think Alicia was hoping you'd requalify her statement as "ingenious" :)
What concerns me is what the hell this means for bunches of bananas but
more importantly seasonal fruits....and melons
Alicia, getting even more excited
I like bananas too. Full of energy, bananas. They rank third on my fruit
list. Mangos are second. Somebody stop me!

Yes, let's stop there. :-)

Compiled by Ant Brooks (2000-06-13)

Recovered and added to wiki by Bretton (2005-11-04)

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