Why we have to share


THERE was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “Didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

So is with our lives… Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all…



38 thoughts on “Why we have to share

  1. So self interest has to be the motive of altruistic actions? Please someone tell me
    I’m wrong. Though I suppose any motive is better than none.


    • Hey strewth,

      Actually I know some psychologists who well tell you that there is no such thing as true altruism.

      The “giver” is always getting something in return, even if it’s just a greater sense of well-being.


      • Bryan,
        You ask to explain Jesus if there is not such thing as true altruism.

        Well, my question is this. Is Jesus/God actually CAPABLE of performing a bad/evil/selfish act? If not capable then, it is not true altruism, surely? He simply never has to choose between the god and the evil act then. Perhaps we might further ask if in doing ‘good deeds’ for the people of Palestine two thousand years ago, did it give him/God any personal satisfaction? If it gave Jesus/God any satisfaction, then it was hardly a totally altruistic performance, was it?

        The atheists and skeptics among us would add, well, if Jesus/God is/was capable of performing genuinely altruistic acts, then why are such acts so severely limited by the infliction of hell and damnation apon a huge majority of the human population of the world?

        Oh, I know, I know, the altruism of Jesus/God is demonstrated by the salvation accorded via the Incarnation and all that that entails. But one would wonder just why those ‘rules’ were established by the Deity in the first place which made the Christian Heaven just so darned tricky to get into at all? Why couldnt the Deity’s altruism have made Heaven a bit easier and more available to a far bigger majority?

        Just one of the many reasons why I find the concept of Reincarnation much much more acceptable and kindly than the Christian theories. Our Jewish brothers too hold a much more kindly idea of God and Heaven than the Christians do. A more genuinely altruistic deity I would say.



      • Why couldnt the Deity’s altruism have made Heaven a bit easier and more available to a far bigger majority?

        Just one of the many reasons why I find the concept of Reincarnation much much more acceptable and kindly than the Christian theories. Our Jewish brothers too hold a much more kindly idea of God and Heaven than the Christians do. A more genuinely altruistic deity I would say.

        You question God Rian. Nothing wrong with that. But then again you’re not God. Blindly Accepting reincarnation as an alternative merely because we don’t find God’s truth suitable in our limited understanding is not a logical position. Just because you want something doesn’t make it true. In my opinion.


      • “Just because you want something doesn’t make it true. In my opinion.”

        I’d heartily agree.


      • Let’s not forget that reincarnation was acceptable to many in the early church. It wasn’t until more than 500 years after Jesus that a Roman emperor over-rode the Pope of the time, to declare it heresy. Even then it was a minor item in a parcel of beliefs, the most important pertaining to the divinity of Jesus.


      • Hey Rian,

        When I think of the biblical Jesus then I’d think of his mission, his miracles and his resurrection.

        I don’t see how any of those would be considered altruistic.

        Anymore than I’d see the bank loaning me the money to buy my house as altruistic.


      • Hi Bryan,
        Funny you know, but I do agree with you that I am not ‘God’, (just whatever that might conceivably mean). But there again, I don’t really think that you or anyone else on this blog happens to be God either. So this means that just like every single one of you/us, I have made use of my god-given freedom and intelligence to decide just what spiritual beliefs and concepts I take on board for the time being.

        Are you by any chance suggesting that you actually have had direct and unmistakable information from the Deity about the truths of the soul and of heaven? I read what you write and to me it appears that you have simply found the teachings of conventional Christianity to make sense and to please you, just in the same fashion as I have found certain Gnostic (and other) views to make sense and to please me. I’ve had experiences that have tended to confirm my ‘faith’ just as you have clearly had experiences that have tended to confirm your faith.

        Just maybe I am a fraction bit more open minded than you are, since I have no hesitation in honestly allowing that I may happen to be wrong about anything and everything, and that just as in many times in my past 79 years I may yet have to change my ideas once more, or/and to find brand new concepts developing in my consciousness, along with new ‘beliefs’ and spiritual practices.

        Funny if by any chance in your own latter years, you might just come to see things rather differently from the way you do now. Your God may just have some brand new concepts and visions for you prior to your death, – or just maybe not until after you pass on. For myself, I’m prepared to learn all sorts of new and wonderful things in the next world.

        For the here and now, I’m not at all dogmatic about anything much at all, other than some select matters of ethics and morals. The God has been exceedingly good to me up to date, and appears very much like the Deity that my mind envisages. But isn’t that just what each and everyone of us tends to believe?

        I must say that it was interesting to me to observe that you made no attempt to answer or comment on my points about the altruism of God or Jesus. I must have said something significant.

        Cheers, Rian.


      • Ever think you have even a slight touch of a superiority complex Rian?

        Well, my question is this. Is Jesus/God actually CAPABLE of performing a bad/evil/selfish act? If not capable then, it is not true altruism, surely?

        Then you don’t understand the concept of Jesus taking on human form and everything that goes with it. Difficult I know. But perhaps try.


      • Gee Bryan,
        I hate to tell you but actually I comprehend the concept of Jesus taking on human form etc very well. You are basing your argument there I expect, largely on John 3.16.

        Look, the Headlines of Christian teaching are extremely attractive and mind-blowing. But it’s when you get down to the fine print in the contract that things start to look dicey. This Deity promises salvation and heaven for the faithful. But the conditions attached to it all, mean that with all the possible and presumed good intentions in the world on behalf of the God, the vast majority of earth people will finish up in Hell.

        I say again that those conditions that are claimed to exist for entry into heaven are fundamentally unfair and arbitrary. However you may try to rationalise the existence and functions of Hell in the divine scheme of things, it is just unnecessary and cruel. A Deity who sets these particular demands and qualifications would seem to be little different from any earthly dictator or tyrant. One who says “I will offer all the advantages of my regime and my ‘love’ exclusively to those who believe and obey unquestioningly all that I say and dictate. – and ONLY to those. It doesn’t make any difference just how good or just the majority of others happen or try to be, they are and will be condemned.”

        A ‘superiority complex’ eh? Bryan, have you ever just considered the fundamental superiority complex that ‘saved’ Christians CAN APPEAR to exhibit to the rest of us? ‘We are the folk’, they say – ‘a unique minority of the world’s population, who have made the only correct decisions. We alone are bound for heaven. We alone have all the most important Beliefs in the Heavenly List ticked and acknowledged. Sure, we are not and do not or cannot claim to be perfect, but for heavens sake, we alone have been and are ‘forgiven. And that proves just how humble we are.

        Further, our unique reading of certain Sacred Scriptures has ensured our correctness. Sure, we may understand but little of the issues involved, since the ways of the Deity are really beyond comprehension, – but nevertheless, our Scriptural reading and understanding (and our faith in the ‘Church Fathers’ of past and present who enlighten those readings) is more accurate and effective than the parallel understanding of those who are not ‘saved’, despite them seemingly clinging to the exact same Scriptures.’

        Me with a superiority complex, Bryan? Hm, look, I don’t claim as you folk do to have any knowledge or understanding of any eternal ‘Truths’. I don’t have any absolute and binding belief in some unique path to a Heaven or a Salvation that other people may lack. I don’t claim to be better morally or spiritually than anyone else. My one and only virtue in these issues is perhaps that I leave myself open to brand new ideas and concepts in all areas of the Spirit.

        Naturally, in the process, I don’t consider that people like yourself are necessarily lacking in the ‘spiritual department’ of your lives and hearts. Probably and most likely, as far as I am concerned, you will actually reach and experience the very ‘Heaven’ that you long for. Personally I’ve yet to find any concept of such a Heaven at all desirable.

        Like any decent Gnostic, I don’t confine myself to specific absolute beliefs that may have to be reconsidered or changed at any time. It doesn’t matter in any way to me that I cop some flack for commending the ‘Doctrine’ of Reincarnation. For all I know, it may not be true, but for the time being it represents a standpoint that makes loads of sense to me and appears like a huge improvement on the alternatives. It is for me for the present, what Edward de Bono (Of Lateral Thinking fame) describes as a ‘Proto-Truth’. You can read about that in his stimulating book ‘The Happiness Purpose’.

        Finally of course, neither you or anyone else has really answered my specific questions about whether God/Jesus is actually capable of performing an evil or bad act. By definition of course, it would appear that (a bit like President Nixon on acts by a President), that if God performs an apparently evil or illegal act, then it is by definition NOT illegal!

        So the point is that if God IS capable of performing an immoral or bad act, then we can never truly trust ‘Him’ to always do the right thing. On the other hand, if God is NOT capable of performing an immoral or bad act, then he is clearly not to be described as being altruistic, since there is simply nothing else he could do. He never needs, as we do, to make any moral decisions.

        Cheers, Rian.


      • oh dear, Bryan,
        you do wriggle out ot it, dont you? and I always assumed that this blog was partly designed there for Apologetics and answering straight questions.

        Anyway, clearly I’ve made my points.


  2. “Just because you want something doesn’t make it true.”

    I couldn’t agree more. All of us are better served by rebelling against our natural tendency toward confirmation bias.

    Is it equally true then to say: “Blindly Accepting the Resurrection Story as an alternative to reincarnation merely because we don’t find Buddhism’s truth suitable in our limited understanding is not a logical position.”?


    • But it’s not a ‘blind’ acceptance of the Resurrection, Stu.

      I believe that God gives us the faith to believe in something that seems absurd to our human thinking, and then as our faith matures the evidence for the reality that is the Living Christ, becomes more and more apparent to us. I believe this ‘faith’ to believe in Jesus Christ is both supernatural and a gift from God. It is very different to say, belief in reincarnation or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or the Tooth Fairy. My two cents worth.


      • “But it’s not a ‘blind’ acceptance of the Resurrection, Stu.”

        Fine, Mon. But you have to provide a a reason for why your faith in a particular event isn’t “blind” and why belief in reincarnation is false.

        I have been taken to task on this site to comparing Christian belief to belief in unicorns. Why do you think it us okay to compare belief in the Tooth Fairy to mainstream religions like Hinduism?

        I’m anticipating a reponse based on special pleading.


      • Okay Stu,

        I’ll leave it at that. Although, I watched a program last night called “Ghosts in my children”, about these little ones who have past lives memories. It blew me away. They can recount having lived before and describe how they died, and even remember being with God before they were born (again!) When their parents look into what they are saying, they can retrace their memories in history. How do you explain something like that? And the natural conclusion many make is that reincarnation is real. And yet, the Bible tells us that we only live once. So do I choose to believe the very convincing testimony of those children and their parents that reincarnation is real, or do I believe the Bible?

        But even though, based on the program I watched last night, the case for reincarnation is so convincing, I still cannot accept it as fact because it does not gel with me (my spirit)….. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

        Not Jesus, Bubba—the Resurrection.


      • “So do I choose to believe …. that reincarnation is real, or do I believe the Bible?”

        That, Mon, is what is called a false dilemma.


      • Bubba,

        Like you, I was baptised Catholic. I accepted everything I was told when I was little, but it didn’t take me too long to start questioning my faith. Jesus (as a man) I could readily accept, but as God too, and his dying a cruel death for my sake, and being resurrected from the dead? No, for a time I rejected all that I had learned as BS, besides, I never asked Jesus to die for me!

        Let me ask you, could you accept the Gospel of Salvation based on rational thinking? I couldn’t. I needed God’s grace to truly believe in the end. But then that’s just my journey, and not everyone is like me, thank God!


      • Bryan, because Mon has the choice to believe in something else (other than the Resurrection or reincarnation) or to not believe in anything at all.


      • Hebrews 9:27 Does Not Disprove Reincarnation

        Hebrews 9:27-28 NIV Hebrews 9:27 is often quoted out of context as proof that the New Testament preaches against reincarnation. The verse that is quoted says: “… man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,.. KJV.

        The logic expressed is that since a man only dies once that this is proof that we only incarnate physically once. The argument goes that if we reincarnate over and over then we die more than once. Since this scripture plainly says we die only once then this scripture obviously disproves reincarnation. However, this logic doesn’t hold up. The New Testament teaches that more than one death is possible. In fact it teachs that the majority of mankind is in danger of a second death. Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years. Why would Hebrews talk of man only dying once and in Revelation speak of man dying twice. Is this a contradiction? There is no contradiction. This is made clear when Hebrews 9:27 is read in the context of what is being taught.

        The author of Hebrews 9:27 was not discussing reincarnation at all. The subject being addressed was whether or not Yeshua (Jesus) had to die more than once for the sins of mankind. One of the misconsceptions about the sacrifice Yeshua made for the sins of mankind was whether or not he had to be sacrificed over and over like the sacrifices made in the temple were every year. From the Jewish mindset, this was a legitamate concern. The Jewish law required a blood sacrifice every year for the sins of the nation. The author of Hebrews dispells the notion that Yeshua had to die more than once and this is made clear when it is read in the context of the other verses.

        However, this verse isn’t talking about reincarnation at all. If you read the entire Chapter of Hebrews 9 you will notice that the subject was about whether or not Christ had to be sacrificed more than once. This is made obvious when the scripture is read in context with the before and after scriptures.

        Hebrews 9:19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. NIV

        The author of Hebrews uses a simile here to make his point that Christ only has to die once. With the exception of individuals such has Lazurus, who died and was physically resurrected by Christ as one of the miracles he performed to prove he was the Messiah, most people only die once. Hebrews 9:27 is not about reincarnation but is part of a series of verses that are discussing something else entirely. As such, the scripture is useless in proving or disproving reincarnation.



      • Have you heard of Frisbeetarianism?

        The belief that when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.


      • Hi Monica,

        When I was little I read a lot of stories and the idea the hero placing himself in great danger or risking/giving his life for others is not an uncommon device.

        I’ve always thought Jesus was a great story, even if it’s not “the myth made fact”.


  3. Once a group of 50 people was attending a seminar.
    Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each one a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.

    Now these delegates were let in that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written, within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.

    At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon.
    Now each one was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it.
    Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.

    The speaker began— exactly this is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.

    Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness.



  4. Hello.
    A friend pointed this article out to me , enthusiastic about its ‘niceness’.
    And so it was, until the thought occurred that the whole homily was invalidated by the modern world. Obviously the author (and distributor) had never heard of Monsanto.
    Oh, and BTW, the earthy character in the picture isn’t scything corn in any case. He’s mowing the grass.
    Nice try, but no banana.


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