“In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” The Beatles
“You get what you give” The New Radicals
“Sowing the seeds of love” Tears for Fears
If you plant corn, you expect to harvest corn. If you plant potatoes, You expect potatoes. It’s basic. You reap what you sow. What goes around comes around, right? It’s a principle that we all know is real, and yet we seem to have a blind spot when it comes to our attitudes and beliefs.
Our reactions to the natural consequences of our decisions are sometimes out of line. Instead of looking back at ourselves and saying honestly, “What have I sown that is now coming up for harvest.” We want to blame God or someone else for the situations in which we find ourselves.
If I sow negativity and cynicism, of course, I’ll reap the same. It reminds me of when I was walking backstage with two of my colleagues. They had an adverse reaction to a security guard who was providing directions to help us find some spaces backstage that we needed to see. “He has to explain it to me three times because I bleed every month!” “All that estrogen keeps me from being able to think clearly!” they teased after he’d left.
They have sown a distrust of men, a preconceived idea that all men believe women are lesser and therefore needed to be spoken to as though they are children. They have a deeply planted notion that women’s oppression always has and will exist. When a man honestly tries to help, they reaped a patronizing “man-splaination.” On the other hand, I come from a society and culture where women are granted preferential treatment because we are the “fairer sex.” Not weaker, but fairer. Softer, more relational, more nurturing. Mothers, sisters, and wives are to be defended and protected, and above all, respected and honored. Chivalry is not degrading in my part of the country. On the contrary, an unchivalrous man is considered rude.
My ideas of honor and dignity are just as profoundly planted as my colleagues’ concept of oppression. What they saw as “mansplaining.” I experienced as helpful. Three women with two different plantings had two completely different harvests.
Does it matter? Only if we want more peace, harmony, and brotherhood. If we want an evolved society with equality, then we must be more intentional about what we are sowing.
Just for today
When I start to see the world as hostile and cold, I’m going to pause and ask myself, what am I sowing? Unexamined assumptions unconsciously drive perception. I will examine the story I am telling myself and test if it’s helpful and practical. If it’s not, then I’ll let go of that story and ask a Friend to help me develop something new to sow.
God, help me become more aware of the stories I sow. Grant me a new perspective. Help me to plant more seeds of love and fewer seeds of distrust and bitterness.