Many Fields: Communal Reaping
Prof. Sindor Aloyarc
Community is an interesting thing. We can find it in the most unexpected places while also feeling forced into it at times. As members of HOL, this is a chosen community of a virtual nature, and many of us maintain both virtual and offline presences within a variety of groupings and relationships.
It can be easy to dismiss the significance of the company we keep, particularly those people we do not feel we are choosing. Perhaps we go to school with, live or work with people that we otherwise might not have wanted to because there are personality conflicts that bring up tension.
Yet we do have chances to choose how we build relationships with these people, as well as how we navigate around issues that we have with them or that simply arise out of the chemistry at hand, which will always play into how our story unfolds before us and the life we desire to manifest.
The phrase “I don’t care what people think” can be a dangerous one to let grow inside of us. While we shouldn’t necessarily become consumed by the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others (any more than we should be attached to our own, sometimes toxic self-talk), to not care whatsoever what people think is essentially saying that you shouldn’t “have to” concern yourself over it.
While I do not believe it is our responsibility to become overly worried over such things, I do believe we have a certain honor and duty —for ourselves as much as anybody else— toward considering and respecting that our presence, attitude, and lifestyle choices will have some level of an effect on the people we come into contact with. In the same way, we tend to hope that others will consider us in how we’re being treated. This might refer to someone’s behavior, word choices, or even their tone of voice, and isn’t to say anybody should be coddled or given special treatment for no reason, but the opposite is just as tricky when someone does whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want, just because they “don’t care” what anybody thinks about it.
On some level, all of us 'karmically' reap what we sow. What you plant in one season you will harvest in another. What you don’t plant, you shouldn’t expect to receive. What you don’t literally "care" for or tend to in your life will not necessarily bear the same fruitful results that you perhaps are looking to achieve.
As interdependent beings who interact on the regular, there is a ripple effect that happens within ourselves, our small groups, and our overall communities. One person’s “bad day” could spoil the energy of an entire group if they allow it, whereas one person’s positive mindset could help get things back on track. At the same time, we can choose to not let someone else’s bad energy infiltrate our psyche just as much as we sometimes choose not to allow ourselves to be consoled or comforted by those who wish us well. We may think we “have a right” to our bad day. And in some ways, we probably do! But we will also reap what comes from being a storm cloud, as well as the toll it might take on those within our general sphere of influence.
We should always afford people their privacy and allow others to learn and grow in their own way and time, yet the notion that something isn’t “any of your business” is only partially true. Sometimes, yes of course, you must leave alone what isn’t yours to get involved with. That being said, the experience of All others matters to us just as much as it matters to them, whether we believe it that way or not, because the energy that person is harvesting in their life will creep its way into the lives of the people around them, which may then creep its way into your own reality.
There’s a story of an award winning farmer who would give some of his best seeds away to other local farmers every year because he knew that cross-pollination of subpar crops could get picked up by the wind, which would then diminish the quality of his own crops. Expenses aside, it was clear to him that he could never reach his full potential if he didn’t also help those around him reach theirs.
We too are like individuals within many fields of corn, or of wheat. One bad crop can change the quality of another just as easily as pollen getting picked up by the wind and blown toward a neighbor’s hard work. In order for us all to have a happy, healthy harvest, we must consider our own work, while also considering the efforts of those around us. How may we be able to serve them toward their own goals, which will in turn serve us to receive greater bounties?
A famous quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” I love this! That being said, we must also be mindful when someone may have no broom to sweep with, or if they have special circumstances that prevents them from taking on the task. To offer our time and energy to an elderly neighbor, for example, who perhaps is unable to get around quite so easily, is one way we can help take care of each other.
This, I trust you will find, is a fantastic way of taking care of ourselves, which will assist us in reaping the community we deserve as one big (happy) family.
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