Discovering the Relevance of Words
We’ve all heard the term “one bad apple spoils the bunch,” or some closely related piece of knowledge. It is basically supposed to mean that one person can bring a group down. Now is that true?
Is the bad apple just a bad influence? The influence of one strong-willed, charismatic person can surely be felt in any group situation. Think back to the time your friend convinced 12 others to jump off a bridge, just by assuring them of its “safety” and that there’s totally no rocks down there because “I saw my uncle do it”. These alpha males and lionesses could convince a Rabbi to eat a BLT and they could get the Jamestown survivors to drink a tall glass of Flavor-Aid. This phrase reminds me of a certain ’40’s era German art school drop out, he was a great public speaker and led Europe to near destruction, while being a small-statured and unattractive amphetamine junkie. Persuasion is strong, especially among young people, the urge to be accepted is second only to the urge to swap fluids. The art of persuasion can create the most catastrophic masterpieces, crafted with brushes made of dignity and morals and laid on a canvas of shame.
Or is the bad apple a bad representation of the group? A team is only as strong as its weakest member, and is often defined by them. A wolf pack won’t be very successful if there is one wolf who always howls when they are trying to sneak up on their prey; it is just like the coworker who is late to every meeting and is always misplacing important documents. This person is the kid who didn’t do their part in the health class presentation in high school, they are the girl who can’t get her timing down on the cheer squad, the guy on the football team who never memorizes the plays.
Rotting apples release ethylene gas, which in turn spoils the apples in its vicinity. Rotten apples need to be tossed out of the bunch, before the ethylene ruins the rest.