There’s a saying that says “No one is an island unto themselves.” What does this mean? Well, it means everything we do or don’t do flows out from us and effects those around us. We are not isolated and devoid of connection to others like an island is alone and disconnected in the middle of a vast ocean. Far from it. We are connected in ways that, like the wind, are not often seen until later. I came across the following story recently and wanted to share it with all y’all.
“There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.
“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
So it is with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.”
– Author Unknown
Now, this does not mean we are responsible for the lives and harvests of others. But it does mean that what we do or don’t do and say or don’t say effects not only our harvest but the harvest of others around us in ways we may not see for a while. It may be good or it may be bad. It may produce beautiful fruit, just so-so fruit, or completely useless or disgusting fruit. Quality of life begins with the quality of the seeds we plant as well as the quality of the seeds planted by others around us. In other words, we reap what we sow and what we sow is not limited to our own ground. Not only that, we also reap later than we sow and more than we sow. Whether our harvest is good, mediocre or bad all depends on us and the seeds we sow. Or as some like to call it….Karma.
But it goes far beyond that. It’s also includes helping out neighbors plant better seeds too. It’s easy to ignore or just not care what those around us are doing with their own ground and what sort of seeds they’re planting. After all, it’s no skin off our nose, right? Wrong! The reality is if the quality of their seeds is less than stellar, that will eventually effect us, what we plant, grow and nurture, and eventually, our harvest and future seeds. It’s like runoff from the rain. It flows in outward directions away from the starting point and seeps into the adjacent ground…..our ground. When that runoff is contaminated, it can be detrimental to the surrounding landscape, vegetation and living organisms it comes in contact with. It depletes the value and the overall condition of wherever it flows. The same applies to our proverbial seeds and crops.
Little by little, what our neighbor (family, friends, colleagues, countrymen) does will change our crops (our life, thoughts, beliefs and choices). It will degrade our crops and reduce their sustainability and productivity. It will deteriorate the quality and value of our harvests and in turn what we plant in the future.
So if you want bumper crops and harvests that exceed mediocre standards, don’t just concentrate on what you’re sowing in your own fields and how you tend to your own crops. Help those around you plant good seeds, tend to their crops and have good harvests too. If need be, call them on their practices and behaviors which is effected everyone around them. Show them better ways and guide them in planting good seeds that bear good fruit. Teach them how it helps the seed sowers around them and why it’s important. In doing so, you are sowing, growing and reaping. And it will make your own harvests that much sweeter and tastier.
Until next time….enjoy the Ahh moments! And help those around you be better and do better. It makes for a better community for all.
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