JOHNNY APPLE SEED AREN’T WE ALL?

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.

AT YOUR SERVICE…

An interesting fact I seem to run into time and time again is the close relationship between the “Law of Attraction” and living a positive rewarding life.  Not to surprising as attracting the life we desire would certainly lead us to be happy.  For those of you not very well versed in what the law of attraction may be, here is the most basic, nuts and bolts of the matter.  basically that what we focus on and how we feel, the thoughts we send out to the universe influences the situation we find ourselves in.  This has been, in some form or another, been put forth by almost every great thinker and spiritual leader throughout time.  The formula for using this law to our advantage is ‘ask, believe, receive’ this was made popular in the movie and book “The Secret“.  Well, I do not have a problem asking and always enjoy receiving, but like many of you until I see something I have a problem believing it.  Faith, well it has not always been my strong point.  Earl Nightingale put it this way, “Your rewards will always be in direct proportion to your service”  Well, even though I endeavour to serve people to the best of my ability be it at the post office, the bar or in life in general I still had problems accepting that all this ‘good karma’ would come back.  Ok, maybe I understood it intellectually, but couldn’t really grasp it emotionally.  That is until today.  I was watching a film with the famed Author Napoleon Hill.  The man who wrote the famous book “Think and Grow Rich” back in 1937.  He put it in such a way that helped me better understand faith, service and how that all comes together.  He used the metaphor of the farmer.  In the spring the farmer must purchase seeds, till the land, plant the seed and take care of them.  Up to this point, not only has the farmer not made any profit he is actually in the hole for his time and the price of the seeds.  Then, he sits back, let sunshine, rain and mother nature take her course.  Along with some work by the farmer to maintain the soil.  Then after a few weeks the seeds sprout, and blossom and the farmer is returned the only the seed money but several times that.  The key was first he had to put in the investment, plant the seed and do the service.  Then he had to sit back and wait.  Confident his returns would come.  This is not the first, nor the last time I am sure to learn a lesson from a farmer.