Allegory of the Fridge (with apologies to Plato)

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Every time the drawer opens, light appears. New apples come in, or old apples are taken away.

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Eventually, they deduce that the slit of light is what creates new apples.

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They live in the dark. The Crisper is their reality.

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Some apples have noticed patterns and are especially good at guessing how many apples will be born from the light that day. They are revered for their knowledge and wisdom.

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One day, an apple is taken up into the light.

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She is pulled out of the Crisper, and then accidentally dropped.

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The brightness stuns her. She wants to go back into the nice, dark Crisper, but the door is shut.

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She is certain that she’s stumbled into a false reality. But slowly, her eyes adjust.

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She ventures out.

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Her eyes continue to adjust, and she takes in more new sights.

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Eventually, she comes to an apple orchard and sees the real origin of apples.

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She can’t believe what passed for her old worldview…

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…or how certain they all were.

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She thinks of the other apples, still in the dark Crisper, and can’t wait to free them from their delusions.

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She finds her way back to the refrigerator and into the Crisper.

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She tells the other apples about the bright reality outside the refrigerator. Their reaction is not what she expected.

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They don’t believe her. They ask her to tell them how many new apples have come in through the light while she was gone. Because her eyes have not readjusted, she can’t fathom a guess. The Crisper is dark and confusing.

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No matter how hard she tries to share her newfound reality with them, the other apples assume she has been corrupted by a false one. Her eyes have been compromised, and she cannot operate normally in the Crisper. The others decide if that’s what happens to apples who explore outside the refrigerator, they aren’t going anywhere!

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Still, she knows the truth, and hangs on to it. Maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to show them the light one day.

It’s the job of wise people in every society to help the others awaken to reality, but it’s a difficult job. People have to be encouraged to see it for themselves, or they won’t believe in a reality outside their small, dark world.

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