Unification News for October 1998

Tortured in the Orchard

by Jon Wason-La Crescent, WI

I live in La Crescent, the Apple Capital of Minnesota. The limestone bluffs rising from the banks of the Mississippi River create an ideal location for growing apples. Rows of fruit trees are snuggled into valleys, protected from hail storms, damaging winds and early frost. Orchards cover entire hillsides.

In the autumn, workers come to harvest the fruit. Apple picking is hard work. Not only is it draining physically but it can be a workout for the spirit, too. A person needs to get psyched up and keep a positive attitude to be a good apple picker.

My friend Tim got a job as an apple picker, but he lasted less than a day. The reason was his pessimistic thinking.

Tim was using a half-bushel picking sack. The apple picker fills the sack with apples and empties them into a wooden bin which holds 20 bushels. It takes approximately 40 bags to fill the bin. The worker is paid by the number of bins filled.

That morning, as Tim started working, he kept looking at the bin. It looked so huge. It looked so empty. He picked a few apples and put them in his bag, while glancing at the box and pondering its great size.

When Timís bag was finally full, he emptied it into the box. The sound of apples thudding on wood echoed inside the empty bin.

Tim figured if he did that 39 more times the bin would be filled. He felt discouraged, but kept toiling away. He was thirsty and sweaty. Bugs were biting him as he reached for more apples and twisted them off the tree.

One more bag filled and dumped into the big. It still looked empty.

The shade under a large apple tree in the next row looked appealing, so Tim sat down and started thinking about the situation. The orchard pays workers for the number of bins filled. He had no bins filled. He figured he was getting nowhere.

By then he was so discouraged he decided to eat his lunch. As he bit into a salami sandwich he looked at the big bin once more. It seemed it would take forever to fill it.

A sad Tim stood up and started to pick some more apples. When the bag was full again he emptied it into the bin. It looked so empty. Apples didnít even cover the bottom.

Tim took off his picking sack, walked down the hill, got in his car and drove home.

A negative attitude is dangerous for an apple picker.

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