The Societal Orange: Insight into Finding Community
Imagine you are in Fred Myers shopping for fruit. You scan the fruit isles, noticing all the classics, such as apples, oranges, and bananas, and you also notice some of the stranger fruits, such as lychees, durians, and Asian pears.
Now picture that you are a kid looking at all of the clubs your school offers. You have the classic clubs, like Yearbook and Chess, and you also have some of the odder clubs, like Trash Can Builders or Salsa Launchers.
In each instance you, the shopper or student, were looking at all of the options based on what you know and what you could see. The fruits and clubs you know well, such as the apples and the Yearbook club, you can instantly relate to. However, the stranger ones are harder to see if you like them or not because you have not yet tried them.
And this same idea works when we take a look at human societies and communities. Communities have a complex structure that shapes and is shaped by those that are in those communities
But what actually makes a piece of fruit be like the hundreds of thousands of communities and groups out in the world?
The Societal Orange
The Front Cover Picture
When shopping for fruit, you as the shopper want the best quality fruit possible. You want to evaluate what makes this piece of fruit better than the piece next to it. In an orange, you can tell the ripeness by the color. The color ranges from lime green, the least ripe, to a rich orange, the ripest or over ripe. Since you are looking for a ripe orange, you will grab the orange that looks just right.
When looking at communities, the cover picture that shows up for it determines your next step. If the picture is of a library and you are crazy about libraries, you are very likely to continue looking into the rest of the community.
One of the parts you look at after buying the orange is the pith, the white and fuzzy inside of the skin. The pith holds just as much nutrients as the rest of the orange, but has a flavor that people find unappealing. The pith protects and secures the fruit of the orange, making it crucial to the orange, but not much so to your salad.
The pith of an orange tends to be the guidelines or the fine text of the society. It involves all of the social intricacies and experiences that the rest of the community offers, but is unappealing because of its tedious and frustrating nature.
After peeling off the skin and pith, we get to the fruit of the orange, which is divided into sections called “Carpels”. The carpels hold the juice and flavors that were the reason you bought that orange. And when you take a bit of it, you experience the flavors and get to judge of you like it or not.
Becoming part of that community or trying it out gives you the experience of what that community actually is. With that experience, you can continue to be part of that community or you can decided it’s not what you want and try something else. This was the whole reason for you getting past both the “Front Cover and the “Guidelines”, to get the experience.
After you finish eating the orange and after you’ve thrown away the peel, you’re let with the very last part. In the middle of that fruit, you have the core of the fruit that holds the seeds. These seeds can use in two ways. You can plant the seeds to grow trees to get more fruit to eat and to continue this cycle, or you can throw away the seeds, happy with the first piece of fruit.
Having tried out this new community, you can either continue to become a stronger part of that society, or decide that it doesn’t fit what you wanted. But whether you decided that the community orange looked ripe and tasted great or looked bad and tasted terrible, you can always see what the pros and cons are by going through all the parts of that orange.