The Pineapple Rule

By Sherien Sobhy

About a year ago, I was out to lunch with my cousin at one of our favorite restaurants. I was starving and eagerly awaiting my food when I saw the waitress coming our way. To my horror, shamelessly placed next to the main course were sliced pineapples. How dare they ruin a perfectly good meal with this uninvited guest? See, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been anti-pineapple. It’s got sharp edges, an odd scent, and an even weirder taste.After staring at the fruit on my plate for a while and attempting (unsuccessfully) to pass it over to my cousin, I had a wild thought: What if I just ate them? People eat pineapples all the time. No one’s died yet…I think. Before actually taking on this feat, I prepared myself mentally. I decided I would like pineapples…But I hate pineapples. No, I would eat them and I would love them.So, it turns out we are capable of manipulating our minds. Since that day, I’ve loved pineapples. I no longer eat them only when forced. I actually seek them out. I love how they look, smell, and taste. And to think, if it hadn’t been for that sneaky restaurant, I’d be missing out on all that juicy deliciousness.

Since then, I’ve encountered many situations in my day-to-day life where the pineapple lesson applies. People have become very picky when it comes to their tastes, and not just about food. Being blessed with abundance has made us feel the need to have an opinion on just about everything. We feel we’re expressing our individuality when we choose to like one thing and hate something else. I say “choose” because I believe that many of our preferences are arbitrary, not based on reason or logic, but on some superficial basis. Not only are we needlessly picky, but we’re stubborn. We don’t like the idea that we might be wrong or that our so-called preferences may simply be baseless personality quirks of our own creation, essentially figments of our imagination.

I admit I’m guilty of this quite often. For example, I am known to absolutely despise the singer Pink. If one of her songs comes on the radio, I must turn it off. If a friend says she likes her, I start to have serious doubts about our friendship. I will confess that this has nothing to do with Pink’s talent or anything she’s done. I just decided, long ago, that I didn’t like her and that was that. Technically, Icould apply the pineapple rule here…But I don’t want to.

In truth, there are much more important lessons to be learned from my pineapple epiphany. How many times do we make our lives harder by refusing to get on board mentally? In my opinion, that’s half the battle. A great example of this is work. People love to complain about work. It could be their boss, their coworkers, or a lack of passion for their field. Whatever it is, these people have chosen to hate their jobs. They drag their feet around day in and day out dreaming of the weekend, during which they will only complain that the start of the work week is fast approaching. That means that 5/7 of their lives will be spent feeling miserable and the other 2/7 will be spent anticipating the misery to come. Sounds just lovely, doesn’t it?

What if you decided to love your job? What if you decided to take it seriously and commit yourself to nothing short of excellence? Needless to say, you would be happier and more content with your life. But the added bonus is that you would also be more successful. The same could be applied to just about anything. Living in Egypt, for instance, is not without its challenges. But moaning and groaning the whole way through, longing for the easy life won’t make things better. Sometimes, maybe even most of the time, you have to make the conscious decision to like Egypt, to appreciate its charms and forgive its shortcomings. Again, not only does this give us peace of mind, but navigating life in a new place actually begins to feel easy and natural.

I believe that you can choose to love fruit. You can decide to love your job. You can decide to love a new, unfamiliar place. I even believe that you can choose to love your life. I know it sounds easier said than done. And in a way it is…But in a way it really isn’t. It’s simple: Love pineapples and they’ll love you back.


Sherien Sobhy blogs at


21 thoughts on “The Pineapple Rule”

  1. I’m a bit late in seeing all these comments, but I’m so glad some of you found it helpful. And for those of you concerned over my stubborn dislike of Pink, I’m happy to tell you that I’ve begun applying the Pineapple Rule to her as well. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. You know, this idea has occurred to me on a few different occasions and I agree with what you say about being picky. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly picky but I am picky about dealing with picky people lol if that makes sense. I’ve always tried to apply the thought that in this life we should count our blessings because there are people who don’t even have the option to be picky. Living in Egypt taught me that and even though I went back to the US because of constant sickness there and couldn’t risk my pregnancy, I still appreciate the valuable lesson of realizing that not everyone is given all the great things that especially Americans enjoy. I learned a lot living in Egypt and it was so difficult, mostly because of sickness and trying to wrap my mind around the culture that seemed often to make up weird little rules that controlled people, even the way they sit. I learned to appreciate my own country a lot more too because I always had so many issues with America and took for granted all the wonderful things I can enjoy here. Being picky doesn’t help anyone. It limits them. Being unwilling to try something new for the mere sake of getting your hands dirty for a change just puts you in a cage. The world becomes much bigger when you actually go out and experience it. It’s not such a small world after all. That’s my view.

  3. Its a great article…I can remember one of my friend. His blood group was B+ . And when he or any of his surroundings faced any difficulties in their life he used to say “what is my blood group” Then the ans came B+(Be positive) And he smiled and said yes be positive……now I got another one pineapple theory …:-D

  4. I think this is an example how it behooves us to have an open mind about things. Taking risks, challenging our thinking, often brings great rewards. We all have pre-conceived notions…what a blessing when we can “step outside of our own little box” and embrace something new and different. Good article, and its has very little to do with pineapple. LOL

  5. I like this. Nicely done. If I go out into the world expecting to find dark, bad, unkind people – I will not be disappointed…because they are everywhere. But, if I go out into the world expecting to find, loving, kind, wonderful people – I will not be disappointed…becaue they are everywhere too. We will find what we are looking for and what we expect. You did good on this one. xoxo

  6. I did this years ago when I was really miserable and hated going to work. I chose to go in with a smile on my face and to like my work and the people there. It took a bit of time, but one day, I realised that I was enjoying work and it was a pleasure not a chore. Thank you for reminding me that we can choose to change how we feel about anything in life.

  7. Thanks Sherien – great advise – I chose this attitude when we moved to a new town a couple of years ago and when I got my new job (filled with lots of difficult people). Now I try my damnest not to let people pull me down, my family disagreements to dictate my mood for the day and the weather to fill me with dread (too hot/cold/wet). I say hi to strangers in the street (only 4000 people live here so what the hell, I will know all their names one day) I hold doors open to strangers and let cars pull out of me in traffic. It feels good to give and I hope some of this rubs off on my kids – life is good – living is great – a smile costs nothing :-))))

  8. lol my youngest son is deathly alleric to Pineapple………not just tounge in cheek……..the doctors have warned him that he could die if he ever eats it again……we have had 3 very close calls where he has unknowingly gotten pineapple…..1 time in Punch at a friends house when he was 9…….once in “WHITE CAKE” at school ……..and once a girlfriends mom thought she would TEACH him to LIKE pineapple and cooked is ribs after they had soaked in pineapple juice………2 of the three times he had to make an ambulance trip to the hospital….we dont even allow pineapple of any kind in the house.

  9. Good article!!! Good changed perspective there,I started that positive way of thinking long ago and yes absolutely, it’s much better! You find yourself enjoying your life and all the unique wonderful differences,they are all around us. Every day is a new adventure…..Cynthia Z

  10. Why not apply your rule to Pink? Seems odd that you wouldn’t, especially when it appears from what you write you have more than one friend that likes listening to her. Personally, I think she is a great songwriter and singer.

    My vote – Pineapple Pink 😉

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