A college professor brought an orange to the class and asked his brightest student, “What is this?”

“An orange, of course”, the young lady replied.

“And if i squeeze it, what will come out?”, quizzed the Prof.

“Orange juice”, the clever young lady quipped.

“Are you sure?” enquired the Professor. “Could i not get apple juice instead?”

“No!” Echoed the student.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s an orange. That’s what oranges have on the inside.”

“Aha!”, exclaimed the Professor. “You can only get what is already inside. So let me ask you this. When pressure is put on you when you are squeezed, what will come out? Is it bitterness, rage, frustration and venom that will come out? Or might it be love, forgiveness, empathy, patience and understanding?

At about 10 pm the other night, i had just had an unpleasant confrontation with someone who was always bent on bringing out the worst in me. Deliberately. Just for sport. And usually, the person succeeds in getting the baser animal in me to rear its ugly head. I’m not proud of it, but I guess we all have pressure points which, when squeezed, only the very worst of us spurts forth. It’s something to be worked on, not something to be ashamed of.

Anyway, this person has been succeeding in squeezing out the worst in me for years now, until that day. That day, i made a choice. I decided to let go. I decided enough was enough, and that life was far too short for me to allow people who don’t add to my life, to have so much control over it. 

Now, once I made that decision, an ethereal calm settled over me. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and allowed this person to squeeze. I was pushed and probed and prodded and provoked, but all that came out of me was patience and pity. I had changed what was inside of me, so no matter how hard I was squeezed, I was simply no longer an orange.

My friend, what are you made of? What is inside you? If someone put pressure on you, what would come out? Are you proud of what sits inside of you, waiting for someone to bring it out of you just by saying the wrong thing, or even looking at you funny? I just want you to remember that you can almost never control what happens to you. But you can definitely control how you choose to react.

Jesus said in Matthew 15:18, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defines a person”. So maybe we need to stop trying to change the world and just focus on having a change of heart.

My name is Kojo Yankson, and you can squeeze all you want. I am no longer an orange.


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