The Power of the Apple: A New Genre of the Week Series

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There is the old saying that we use in American English: An Apple a Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away. It is a it is a well-known fact that the apple is the main fruit that people enjoy eating, let using as the main ingredient for pastries, juices and salads. With its array of vitamins and minerals, the apple provides strength for the human body as well as the mind. That was probably the main reason why Johnny Appleseed during the 1820s planted and maintained hundreds of apple trees, providing new settlers with a key source of nutrients. It is a well-known fact that his motive behind his orchards was to provide unity for a young country, like the United States, as it was growing- both in size and population, but also in terms of intellect. After all, most ideas, including the creation of the Constitution and its modern form of democracy came just by having an apple ready- for consumption and for painting a prosperous future.

 

But the apple does more than just give us ideas. It strengthens the soul, providing us with inner-peace, providing us with a sense of an open-heart and mind and gives us the energy we need to love ourselves and others.

 

When you offer an apple, you offer the other a bridge to cross and a new path (and/or) idea(s) to open/improve ties and to make life better for yourself and others.

 

To offer an apple means to offer friendship

To offer an apple means to be open to new cultures, ideas and things

To offer an apple means to be open to others and their ideas and thoughts

To offer an apple also means to offer the most important lessons in life,

Such as loving your neighbor, your friends, your family and yourself,

Such as learning something new and tolerating and accepting others for their way of life

And most important showing respect and kindness towards others and most importantly,

Being decent people.

 

In the past month, as I was compiling some ideas for the Luther series in the Files, I learned that the apple can be a powerful product that can create ties and bind people together, solve problems that are complex and find solutions, and create ways to better ourselves and society.

 

While Martin Luther brought his disciples and followers together over a mug of beer- homebrewed by his faithful wife, Katharina von Bora, many authors (myself included) have found ways of using the apple for the purpose of literature, providing us with some valuable lessons that we seemed to have forgotten but are in dire need of learning about- especially in times of hardships around the globe.

Therefore, parallel to the Year of Luther and the noted works, the Files will introduce some literary works dealing with the apple and how it works wonders on society. Like in the Genre of the Week series, the works will be profiled with the main theme of how the apple is used in the context. Some like the first profile will be in a form of a book, others in the form of poems, narratives and other works. It will also include a couple from the author based on his personal experiences, one of which is tied to the works of Luther.  Between now and Christmas, you can find some works under this theme, intermingling with those of Luther and others- some of which will be posted here on the areavoices page, but for sure, you will find them on the Files’ wordpress page. It is hoped that when looking at the pieces, one will learn the morals of life, and especially how the apple symbolized unity, not just for one community or even country, but for society in general; especially with all the problems we are facing (and will be facing for years to come).

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the first piece that deals with the apple, rumors and the truth. That can be found in Mr. Peabody’s Apple, which you can click here.

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Flensburg Files‘ Tribute to Steven Jobs, Apple founder, thinker, innovator, and the source of inspiration

An Apple a Day helps keep the doctor away- this was an old saying that was used by many to encourage people to eat healthy everyday and avoid seeing the doctor for any illnesses that may come about. My grandmother used to preach this when I was growing up and it helped a great deal when it came to creativity and imagination as a teacher, columnist/writer, parent and a person in general.

That is unless you have an Apple Computer and you are using it every day, like I do. Then the anecdote should read “An Apple a day helps your creativity run away.” I was first introduced to the Apple IIe while in elementary school in 1984 and grew up with the computer, embracing one new type after another, and embracing one new word processing program after another, all the way through high school and to a certain degree, college. Every time I wanted to do something creative and artistic, I always looked to Apple as a source of guidance and inspiration.

For the founder of Apple, Steven Jobs, there was more to creativity than the products he invented over the years, going from the personal computer that covered the entire desk, to the one which fits in the palm of your hand and plays music, saves all kinds of things, and helps you organize your plans and thoughts thoroughly.  There is so much that has been mentioned about his rise to stardom and how he rivaled the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Thomas Edison, and the like that mentioning it again here in this column is like reinventing the wheel. Job was a thinker- an “iPhilosopher” as some have coined it- who encouraged society to be creative, take the risk, and invent and create something that may not be acceptable at first but will be popular in the long term. From a point of view of a political scientist and historian, I would call this the theory of innovation or Jobbesianism, implying that one’s creativity and innovation will have an impact on society and how people behave towards one another, even if it is not accepted at first. In other words, we should create, convince and capture in order to better ourselves and society in general. Jobs may not be the savior, like the Lord Jesus Christ, as he was portrayed holding the iPad in the May 2010 edition of the Economist magazine, but he was the person who made a difference in the lives of many through his philosophy. This goes beyond the company Apple, the computer industry, and science and technology, but for society in general.

Hearing the news of his passing this past Thursday, right before my first class of the day at the university, the response was speechless. While he may have succumbed to pancreatic cancer, the same deadliest form of cancer that has taken the lives of many stars, like Michael Landon (he was diagnosed in 1989 and died less than two years later), he left a legacy that will last for generations to come, a legacy that encourages us to be creative and take a risk at what we are doing so that in the end, win or lose, we can say that we were successful in our own ideas. To end this column, I decided to compile a few excerpts that he mentioned below for you to think about and encourage yourselves to make the best of society and be creative in what you do.  Mull over these comments and go out there and invent. You’ll be amazed at what you come up with in the end.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT COURTESY OF STEVEN JOBS:

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do,”  both quotes he mentioned to the Stanford University graduates in 2005.

“My job is not to be easy on people. My jobs is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” – All About Steve Jobs

“So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.” – CNNMoney

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – Wikiquote, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993).

OTHER USEFUL LINKS:

http://www.macstories.net/roundups/inspirational-steve-jobs-quotes/

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs