Once upon a time there once was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best corn crop. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with all of 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, “Don’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.”
My oh my – in the midst of a fraught Nov 3rd National Election in America, this couldn’t be a better story for all of us to ponder.
If I am to have a good life, I must help my neighbor to have a good life. And yet how do I do that?
Certainly not by impressing my values upon my neighbors … or the hundreds of millions of other more distant American “neighbors” who most obviously do not share in these values
Can I legislate what others do with their “corn” because I don’t agree with how they grow and use it? And if how they grow and use their corn negatively impacts my own fields, should I force them to change their ways and their ideas about growing corn? Does the Progressive Left have the right to impinge its values on the Conservative Right? Or vice versa?
These last four years and the recent election have led me to a definitive answer: NO.
Majority rule—two party rule—right vs left rule doesn’t hack it. All it does is pit people against one another … we’re totally missing the point, which is: how, as a species, do we live and regulate ourselves to the maximum health and wellbeing or all. How do we create this?
These are hard hard questions that have to be asked.
But part of the answer, I think, lies in this simple story. I help my neighbors grow good corn by sharing my own abundance. I share the secrets to growing good corn. I shine a light that hopefully illuminates the path in front of their feet.
I develop a mindset of empathy and aim for the common good. The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!