I want to share a story that I recently came across about a corn farmer.
There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Each and every year, he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer had been sharing his seed corn with 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, “Didn’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.”
The moral of the story is a good one to try to internalize. The corn farmer is a great representation of the law of reciprocity. As Sir Paul McCartney put it in the Beatles album Abbey Road, “The love you take is equal to the love you make”, which he later explained in a sketch on Saturday Night Live to mean “The more you give, the more you get.”
My hope is that we can all be more like Sir Paul, and like the corn farmer and be a little bit more giving and generous because, in the end, none of us will truly win, until we all win.