By: Blonde Two
I do like a good metaphor.
But not the one above.
It is rude however, to dislike something before you have found out about it so I did a bit of research. “Pick the low hanging fruit.” fell into popular ‘business’ use in the mid 1990s and continued on its rise to ridiculous managerese well into the 2000s. It wasn’t always used to describe easy business options, goals that could be achieved with little work; it has been used in literature in both positive and negative contexts; vacuous youth and bountiful love.
The research didn’t make me like it.
What could possibly be good about spending your time looking around for the easy options and little solutions? What happens when they are all used up? Do you then move on to the bigger ones, the options that require some work and commitment? Surely, if you were a “low hanging fruit” person, you wouldn’t be bothered. No instant fruit, no effort. The phrase suggests that you would move on leaving others to do the hard, long-term work.
Nothing in life that is really worthwhile (climbing into the pulpit as I type) is “low hanging”. Let us grow the metaphor a bit … imagine the fruit at the top of the tree. Picking this fruit requires a specialist ladder, a risk assessment form (nearly time for the final hymn), a harness and a first aid certificate. When you put it on a plate next to someone else’s “low hanging fruit”, it will not be riper, it will not be bigger and it won’t have less bugs. But to you, it will taste far sweeter because you have had to work for it (and now for hymn 483 We Plow the Fields and Scatter).
It is that simple, really it is.
Harry the Jack and I went blackberrying today. We didn’t pick the luscious fruit shown below because it was low hanging and let’s face it; if the fruit is low hanging, the chances are that someone else has already peed all over it!