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‘We’re all sort of bananas’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

May 19, 2021

I’m not complaining, since there are much worse foods we could consume in large quantities, but my family of only three people goes through what seems to me like an absurd number of bananas.

Last time I went grocery shopping, I bought two large bunches of bananas. One of the bunches was ripe and ready to eat. The other bunch was almost completely green. I was acting on the assumption that the green bunch would be ripe by the time the ripe bunch was eaten.

That was optimistic. As I watched the ripe bananas disappear quickly, I decided to make a move to ensure I’d get at least a couple bananas: I ripped a green banana off the bunch and brought it with me to my office.

I placed the lone, green banana on my desk.

As the week continued, I noticed something: The bananas at home were ripening quickly, while the banana on my desk was still pretty green. Maybe it had something to do with the climate in the two spaces being different, and maybe it was because of some other factor I hadn’t considered, but I immediately credited the inconsistency in ripening to the notion that bananas ripen faster when connected to other bananas in a bunch.

It reminded me that people are sort of like bananas in that way. We get better when we’re linked together.

While there are times and situations that require us to try to grow in solitude, my experience suggests that improving that way is harder and/or less complete.

For example, I can learn a lot by reading a book, but I tend to learn even more when I read that book and then discuss it with someone else who is familiar with it. Discussing a book exposes me to someone else’s interpretation of it. Another person may notice details I missed or focus on concepts I thought were less important.

Similarly, I find it easier to grow my faith in community.

While I can and do grow my relationship with the Lord through private prayer and spiritual reading, growing that relationship also requires my participation in community – in Mass and the sacraments (none of those are celebrated alone), and in sharing the fruits of my prayer and spiritual reading.

I grow better, holier when I’m connected to others in community than I can in isolation. I think we all do.

We’re all sort of bananas.

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