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How to Grow Good Corn

The following story has been adapted from a story of a farmer who grew award winning corn related by author James Bender in his book, ‘How to Talk.’

Every year, a farmer would enter his corn in the state fair competition for quality crops, where it always won the prize for the best corn. One year, a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learnt something interesting about how he grew it.

The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his award winning 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, didn’t you know?” said the farmer, “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.”

The farmer was very much aware of the interconnectedness of everything in life. He knew that his corn could not improve unless his neighbours’ corn also improve.

Moral: The farmer’s philosophy applies to other aspects of life, too. Those who choose to be at peace must help their neighbours to be at peace. Those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness. Similarly, those who wish to follow the path of spirituality must try to inspire others to do the same. Only when a majority of the society becomes sāttvik does it become conducive to the individual seeker’s spiritual progress.

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