Sharing The Bounty To Uplift All
Building communities may seem like a big project but its something that can start with the simplest of acts.
There was a farmer who grew excellent quality wheat and every season he won the award for the best grown in his county. One year a reporter from the local newspaper interviewed the farmer and learned that each Spring the man shared his seed with his neighbors so that they too could plant it in their fields.
“How can you afford to share your best wheat seed with your neighbors when they are entering their crops in the competition with yours?" the reporter asked.
“Why that's very simple,” the farmer explained. "The wind picks up pollen from the developing wheat and carries it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior wheat, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of all the wheat, including mine. If I am to grow good wheat, I must help my neighbors grow good wheat".
The reporter realized how the farmer's explanation also applied to peoples' lives in the most fundamental way... Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.
I wish more people would understand this fact, that to help yourself is often easier, if you help others as well.
Unfortunately, our consumer/capitalistic society has conned everyone into believing that Life is a zero sum game. If someone else benefits, then someone has to lose. Just because your neighbor is doing well, has a new car or new job, isn't a reason to be angry or jealous.
Having everyone in your community prospering means first, there is less strain on your community. Less call for help and when there is a need, more people with the resources to share.
Secondly, when your neighbor has sufficient resources, not only can they help their community in times of trouble, but they help their own family and friends. Children from poor families don't just impact their own families, they impact those around them. Truancy, then civil problems and later crime and even prison. It costs a lot less to educate a child so they can get and hold a well paying job, than it does for society to arrest them and put them in prison.
Helping others, is the ultimate act of selfishness.