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Be a blessingBe a blessing

Plant the seeds of good wherever you can.

October 21, 2022

3 Min Read
Vegetables from garden
HARVEST GOOD: There are opportunities every day to be a blessing to others. It’s up to us to seize those moments and plant the seeds of good where we can. Steve Cicero /Getty images

John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

I think about that quote every fall. This season is our time to reflect on our blessings, but for me I also ponder how I’ve been a blessing to others.

This week I shared the story of the Knopp family in Dickinson County, and their Sonshine Milpa Garden. If there’s a family that’s living Wesley’s adage, it would be the Knopps. They set aside a few acres of their cover cropping strategy to plant to a blend of fruits and vegetables, and then allow the public to come harvest what they will. All free of charge.

Friends, we have opportunities every day to be a blessing to others. Sometimes they don’t require much from us, like letting the man with two items cut in front of us in line at the grocery store. Sometimes they require a little more — like bucking the coffee shop wisdom and setting aside an acre or two from production to turn it into a community garden.

But the one thing they do require is to give up our own selfishness and put the needs of others before our own.

Benefits far outweigh costs

Are there costs? Sure. No one is suggesting that you plant every acre you own to a community garden for the benefit of strangers. That wouldn’t be prudent agronomically, or financially, at all. But an acre here or there brings more than monetary rewards.

Consider the children who’ve never had their own garden, or who think all farms look like the Instagram-ready pumpkin patch they go to every October on a school trip. They get a chance to explore the Knopps’ milpa garden, hunting through the jumbled plants for vegetables to harvest. Taking that produce home and cooking with their parents in a kitchen helps them understand food and agriculture. And maybe it helps them appreciate farming, or better yet, sparks them to want to someday work in agriculture.

Do people sometime take advantage of our giving? You bet. But that shouldn’t stop us. There’s no one at the edge of that field monitoring that someone isn’t loading up a Honda Civic to the roof with free produce, taking more than their fair share. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to do good works.  

We should do good works not because we expect gold stars on some giant celestial tally board, or out of guilt from our past misdeeds, but because it’s the right thing to do. And we may never get repaid equally for doing good deeds, but that’s OK. I know I’d much rather know I was a force for good in this world, wouldn’t you?

As another great man, Robert Louis Stevenson, said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

In this season of Thanksgiving and reflection, ask yourselves: What seeds of good can you plant in your world?



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