Several times this week, in various arenas of life, I have been reminded of an old story that’s been retold many times. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the original author.
A reporter asked a farmer to divulge the secret behind his corn, which won the state fair contest year after year. The farmer confessed it was all because he shared his seed corn with his neighbors.
‘Why do you share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they’re entering the same contest you are each year?’ asked the reporter.
‘Why,’ said the 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 grew inferior corn, cross-pollination would steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbor do the same.’
If I want to live in a safe city, I must pour myself into the youth that are most at risk for becoming violent. If I want my boys to have friends who are trying to do the right thing I must invest in their friends with my time and teaching. If I want my baseball teams to have the best competition I have to do what I can to make sure the other teams in the league are getting better. If I want the people around me to make educated decisions, I must pay attention to what’s going on in our schools.
The gap in this world, in this country, in this state and in this city between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen. When we build our greenhouses and bubbles, put distance between ourselves and “those people” and activate a win-at-all-costs approach with no concern for those left behind, we do more damage to ourselves than we realize.
Brent High is the chief operating officer of LT360, based in Brentwood, Tennessee. LT360 is a cellular health and weight loss company with clients in 17 states and three foreign countries. Between October of 2014 and April of 2015 (6 months) Brent lost 124 lbs. of fat and 42 inches from his shoulders, chest and waist, going from a size XXXL shirt to a size large.