I recently heard the term, “eat the meat and throw away the bones.”
I gotta say, I relate to this idiom a heck of a lot better than “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
I think the meat analogy is a more effective teacher than the baby and the bath. Who knows, maybe my lack of desire to have kids has something to do with it. Just hear me out.
The baby and the bath oversimplifies things. It focuses on keeping what is obviously important as you get rid of what is obviously less important.
I don’t know about you, but I rarely encounter situations that are so clear-cut.
I like the implied nuance of “eat the meat and throw away the bones”:
- Sometimes what is less important will be obvious, and the reward obvious. Mmm, think T-bone steak!
- Sometimes obstacles will greatly outnumber rewards, but the little victories along the way are still worth the fight: Yum, sticky fingers tackling a side of baby back ribs, getting every last morsel!
- Sometimes a situation might appear to be perfect while small, stubborn obstacles lay hidden below the surface. Fishy isn’t it?
The lesson may be the same: Keep what is important and throw away the rest
But how much learning is lost in the bath water? Maybe too much.
When was the last time you threw the meat away with the bones?