The Word: Be the good needed where you are

Published 12:09 pm Saturday, April 29, 2023

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I have struggled in finding the origin of this wise short story for quite some time as numerous folks have used this in devotions, speeches, etc. It may have come from Aaron Avner, Naren Kini, or others (per google searches), but none the less…I wish for you too enjoy as we all strive to learn and grow together:

“There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. 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 shared 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.”

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So is with our lives… 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…

Call it power of collectivity…Call it a principle of success…Call it a low of life. The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!!”

Can we give an amen to this way of thinking?! Woo! Imagine how much more-gooder life would be if we strived to help one another? Imagine if everyone pitched in instead of expecting free handouts. Imagine if everyone did their part instead of a small few carrying the load. There’s an old statistic I have heard most of my adult life that shows how 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. Wow! Those in the 20% are tired. I love the ending of this story in how it beautifully says: “none of us truly wins, until we all win!!”. We live in a “dog eat dog” world. Folks are always striving to be #1. We desire to be the biggest and the best-est. What if we helped each other “grow corn”. Life at work, at home, in our churches, all around our communities would be so much more beautiful if we strived to help each other win. Be the good needed right where you are!

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at