There was once a farmer who grew award-winning corn (maize). Each year, he won the prize in the agricultural fair competition. A newspaper reporter interviewed him. On enquiry, the reporter learnt that the farmer shared his best variety of corn with his neighbouring farmers!
The surprised reporter was curious, and he queried, “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbours who are also in competition with you?” “Why, sir?” The farmer replied, “Don’t you know one of the important facts of life? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior varieties of corn, the cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my own corn as well. If I am to grow good corn, I must help also my neighbours grow good corn. This is the truth of life that I have learnt — in order to get the best out of life, I need to give my best to others.”
We live in a world of tough competition and at a time of endless grabbing and hoarding of material wealth, even of wars to protect one’s own goods and people. It is at this juncture that once again Christmas comes with its great message of caring, sharing, and gifting. At Christmas, we celebrate God’s greatest giving of His Son Jesus to the world — to save humans from their sins and to change them into persons of love, forgiveness, and selfless giving.
As we share with others, we do not become impoverished, but, instead, we become more enriched in our inner happiness through the happiness of others. In his famous prayer Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us, “It is in giving that we receive!” When we share the good things with others, the happiness and joyfulness of others become ours as well.
Nature around us is filled with amazing specimens of this caring and selfless giving. The sun, sky, trees, plants, rivers, oceans, and mountains endlessly give us good things, expecting only one thing — not to destroy them. Take for example, a tree — it provides us shade, flowers with honey for the bees, fruits for us and birds. Its roots hold the ground together protecting it from soil erosion. It purifies the air, and its branches are home to birds. Yet it expects nothing from its beneficiaries.
As we end the year 2023 giving thanks to God, nature, and everyone around us, we can all try to be not only beneficiaries but benefactors as well in the New Year!
Vincent Carmel is the Chief Editor of The Teenager Today. He brings with him years of experience in working with young people. He was actively involved with the Indore-based Universal Solidarity Movement (USM) for over three years. A great lover of the North East, he was the Director of the North East Social Communications (NESCOM), organising motivational programmes for the youth of the region.