Cherry-picking

I’ve been thinking about this phrase lately. Cherry-picking. It’s usually said in a negative connotation. At least, that’s been my experience.

Growing up, I was told to not “cherry-pick” the advice or instruction I was given. I wasn’t supposed to be “picky” with anything in life. I was to be “grateful.” Blah, blah, blah. You know this, right?

Granted, I had a toxic childhood so I’m sure my experience isn’t the same as yours or someone else’s. But it took me damn near 39 years to realize that cherry-picking isn’t a bad concept; it’s good.

Anyone who has picked fruit (myself included if you can believe it lol) will tell you that you want to pick the best ones. You want the strawberries that are fully ripe, peaches that are still firm, & watermelon that have tracks from the bugs munching on the rind. Picking cherries is no different than any other fruit. You want the best ones, right? So why wouldn’t I cherry-pick advice? Not everything will apply to me & my life. I should only take the information that is the best for me. And what’s best for me may not be best for you. And you know what? That’s okay.

I guess this little light bulb went off when I was looking over the 613 mitzvot in Judaism. I realized that there is a lot that doesn’t apply to me. I don’t have a son, so no on circumcision or marrying him off. 😉 I’m not incestuous, not into bestiality, & have no desire to eat bugs. I don’t have slaves & I don’t live in Egypt. I’m not a man, so beards are out as well as payot. I mean, my natural curls give me payot if I wanted them anyways. 😜

While looking it over, it hit me that I was cherry-picking these mitzvot. I was taking the ones that did apply to me, my culture, & my situation & discarding what doesn’t. Why did I think that was bad? Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do in life? Take what works & discard the rest?

I recently read online someone using “cherry-picking” to shame someone else but all I could do was smile. To me, they weren’t being stubborn. They were in the right by using what was ripe for them & leaving the rest for someone else.

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