Friday, July 29, 2011


Dr. James Frederick Bender (1905-1997) was a renowned psychologist and the Founding Dean of the School of Business, Adelphi University, New York. In his renowned book, “How to Talk Well”(McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc. NY), he narrates a nice story about a brilliant farmer who used to receive the prestigious first prize in the state fair every year, for cultivating the best corn (maize) with richest yield. In an interview with the farmer, a journalist asked him about the secret of his success. He agreed that he developed the best corn with high yield by constant research and extensive experiments. He was asked about his reported habit of sharing his finest seeds with the fellow farmers who cultivated corn in the farmlands around his own farm. He explained his unusual action very clearly.

Corn produces male and female flowers on the same plant. The ‘tassel’ and ‘ear’ represent the male and female flowers respectively. Pollen grains are dispersed into the air and are carried by the wind to neighbouring plants resulting in the pollination of their ears. The farmer informed that if his fellow farmers grew inferior type of corn, the pollen from their plants may reach his own corn and cause cross-pollination and deterioration in the quality of his corn. But if he supplied the best seeds to all the fellow farmers, all the pollen reaching his field would be of the best quality. That, he affirmed, was the secret of his success in successive years.

The farmer was proving that the quality of his crop could improve only if that of his neighbours’ crops also improved. We are independent, but interdependent. If we intend to have peace, prosperity or joy in our life, we must ensure that others around us share the same gifts. When we receive a blessing, we must share it with others so that the blessing stays with us. Our personal welfare is connected to the welfare of our society.

When Cain, son of Adam, brutally butchered his brother (Abel), God asked him, “Where is your brother Abel?” But Cain replied carelessly, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” {Genesis, 4: 9}.

God wants everyone to have a role in ensuring the well-being of others around us. St. Paul reminds us, “None of us lives for himself only; none of us dies for himself only” {Romans, 14:7}.


©By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India and Leo. S. John,Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.

For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit the web-sites:

This is Story No. 198 in the second site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in these sites. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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