Grow Good Corn


James Bender, in his book “How to Talk Well” relates the story of a
farmer who grew award winning corn. Each year he entered his corn
in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. 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
neighbours. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with
your neighbours 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 neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-
pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow
good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.” He is very
much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve
unless his neighbour's corn also improves.

So it is in other dimensions. Those who choose to be at peace must
help their neighbours to be at peace. Those who choose to live well
must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the
lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others
to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare
of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we
must help our neighbours grow good corn.

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