Countless are the times that people have come up to me and said things such as, “I was thinking about what we talked about a while back….” I am sure we have all heard this in our lives. We have all been on the opposite side too, haven’t we? Something someone was telling us didn’t make sense to us at the time, but through some change in life circumstance, we can appreciate it now. Maybe it is a loving thing they told us, the reminder of which has helped us make it through a tough time we are currently facing. This can work in the opposite way too. How many times have we remembered something hurtful that was said or done to us? I am not sure why we choose to do that, but that can be how the human brain works.

What we must keep in mind is that everyday we go through life we are planting seeds. Much like a farmer, what we grow will depend on what seeds we plant. We can plant beautiful flowers, fruit, or even a poisonous plant. The seed may take root or it may not. It may grow in our garden or others may be left to benefit, or be poisoned by what grows. In this way we have an ability to affect not only our life, but the world at large. Allow me to explain what I mean by use of a historical figure.

Johnny Appleseed, better known as John Chapman was an American Pioneer nurseryman who planted apple trees in several states and in part of Canada during the late 18th and early 19th century. A lot of the trees he never saw grow, but in the places he visited people were eating apples long after he was gone. We do much the same things with our words and actions. They may not be apple trees, but we are planting seeds just the same.

If we think in terms of Johnny Appleseed’s story, what will grow from the seeds we plant? If we are planting seeds of kindness and encouragement every where we go, we will see kindness blossom and grow. We will see the confidence and joy continue to grow in the hearts of our friends and family. If we plant seeds of gossip and complaint, we will see melancholy, sadness and resentment blossom all around us. In this way we do a great deal to shape the world in which we live.

What about the world at large? Truly, the seeds we plant can’t make much of a difference on a global scale? Think about this. When you go to purchase a cup of coffee at your local Starbucks, treating the employee with extra kindness could ease a tough day they are having. There you affect one person. Due to that act of kindness, they may treat the next person in line with an extra amount of customer service. Then you have affected two people. Maybe that person is on the way to the airport to fly home to a different city or even country and now feels good thanks to the good service they received. They may go on to treat people they encounter on their journey with more kindness and compassion. Thus, your simple act of kindness could affect people halfway across the world. It may not reach such global proportions, then again with comments on social media and the internet we can spread a great deal of seeds without even leaving our homes.

Although this was a positive example, the same holds true in reverse. You may think comments and they way you treat people are harmless, but you are forever planting seeds. We may not see them grow and it may take years for them to blossom, but given time they will. Let us all do our part to plant seeds of kindness, compassion, encouragement and joy. We will grow a garden of positive results. Let us be equally vigilant against casting seeds of negativity, gossip and judgment to the wind. They too, will grow into a world of negative people, places and things.

Let us all remember we are Johnny Appleseed in our own way. Let us plant seeds to grow positive families, friends, communities and the world at large.


  1. Very much needed read Neil! I thank you for altering some of the ways I think. Sometimes the seed of negativity is at the tips of my fingers and then I read what I wrote, delete it and start over. Why? Because what I wrote could, and I say could, be perceived as negative by some minds! While the comment is logical and correct, the “politically incorrect” society that has flooded our lives, would think the correctness is too hurtful. Confusing right???

    You are such an expert at planting positive seed! I’ve found that with adults in a mixed group, I have a difficult time assimilating within their lifestyles. As I am considered, “old school”, I’ve been told that I live in a dream world and parents don’t do that anymore and what I think isn’t the real world and what I think doesn’t matter. Those comments were hurtful, but the generations after me think that seniord lack constructive opinions. To say I can take those comments and have a pleasant day and plant positive seed to others, is frankly too difficult to bear! I think you know what I’m referring to, so I don’t need to get into details.

    Do you know where I have been awesomely successful at planting good seed? To my daughter and my grandchildren! When your daughter tells you that she had the most wonderful childhood with such terrific memories, what a lift to my soul that was. Her childhood was marked with a tragic memory of losing her father as a teenager. For the 3 years her father was ill, she couldn’t have friends over and she couldn’t blare her music, but she learned the compassionate care of her dad in his difficult time gave her a purpose of a loving memory.

    I’m constantly planting seeds of love, faith, and fun silly things to my grandchildren. I’ll text them brain teasers, or a Bible verse, or just a big heart emoji. When we walk, which isn’t often anymore, I always take a store plastic bag so we can pick up litter along the way and discuss how each little item picked up, helps save the environment. If you multiple that task by millions, how much cleaner our world would be. We look at the sky as the geese fly over or the sandhill cranes. We’ll take about animals, things at school and some complaints they have about other kids and teachers, but I think before I speak to give them a seed of forgiveness. Children learn what they live. Those that grow to successful content people, do not necessarily come from the perfect family life. They grow from confidence in being better and passing it forward. There is a thing I’ve remembered from my grandmother. She was always paying it forward and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are successful in their own way. We were under the wing of our paternal grandma, that planted seeds everyday. Whenever I need strength, I think of what she would do. If you knew my grandmother, you would understand that some seeds were rotten, but the “old school” way was not the politically correct way. It was the truthful, yet sometime too truthfully way to the point of hurt. It still wasn’t meant to hurt, but to help the receiver grow better, straighter, prouder. I like the “old school” way!

    Liked by 1 person

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