This is an old time phrase that is used to describe when we confuse things that are not similar yet we try to make them the same. It’s especially true when it comes to our logic. Because we rush so much to get to our answers, we easily mix apples and oranges in defending the logic we used to get to our answer or to our explanation of what happened. And in the end, we become more confused.
An example of this might be you answer as to why you didn’t go to school today. It was because my bike had a flat tire. You know I have good grades in school so missing one day won’t hurt me. You couldn’t go because of the flat tire (the apple). Having good grades and missing a day was stated simply to make you feel good about missing (the orange).
What should we do to correct the problem? It’s obvious that George is at fault and he needs to change (the apple). I never liked him (the orange).
I am running into so much opposition in trying to go ahead with my agenda (an apple). The agenda our boss is trying to implement is so different and doesn’t address what we need in this organization to succeed (an orange).
Both apples and oranges can be good. What is very tricky in life is to recognize that they are different and distinct when referring to them in our conversations, answers, and explanations. What is important in order to become a more critical thinker is to be able to spot the apples and oranges in any conversation so as to better understand what should be linked and what is more fluff within the context of our discussion.
With clearer thought, you can begin to see better gaps in both your thinking as well as in others. It will also guide you better in deciding on the next choice you need to make in helping move your life forward, in a direction you would like it to go.