Tuesday, November 18, 2014
A Story of Sharing . . .
One morning, the sun got up in a bad mood.
‘I’m really tired of getting up every morning and giving light to the earth, day after day,’ it said. ‘I’m tired of ripening the corn and melting the snow. What does the human race ever do for me in return?’
The sun was still thinking all this over, when the rain arrived. ‘Lady Rain,’ the sun remarked. ‘You water the earth all the time and make the flowers grow. You turn the fields green, and fill up the rivers. What does the human race ever do for you in return?’
Hearing this, the rain furrowed her brow, broke out in a terrible noise and fell headlong on to the earth. And as she fell, she pounded out these words: ‘Listen, Mother Earth. You let humankind work you, rip you open, scratch and scrape you. What does the human race ever do for you in return?’
The earth turned into its own furrows and murmured to the grain of wheat, ‘Hey, little grain of wheat. You let yourself die so that humankind can eat bread. What does the human race ever do for you in return?’
And then the sun stopped shining. The rain stopped falling. The earth stopped holding the grain. Eventually, the sun became bored, because there were no longer any children dancing in its warmth and light.
The rain became saddened at never seeing the smile of the gardener in her garden.
The earth became weary at never hearing the joyful steps of laborers on her back.
And the grain of wheat began to rot in solitude.
Together, they decided to have a meeting with God, the creator, and this is what they said to God: ‘God, everything is dying in this universe that you created to be so good and fruitful. Give back life to the earth, we beg you.’
And God replied, ‘My friends, I have given you everything you need to support life on earth. Life cannot be born except of you and between you. And life will be born anew if each of you shares of its nature with all creation. For life is born out of a sharing of life. And where cooperation is refused, life cannot be.’
(A French parable)