A Tale of Two Farmers

A farmer sows seeds into the field, plodding the field and tending to it. When the weather turns harsh against the seedlings, he built shelters for them.When some of the seeds failed to turn into seedlings, he noted the part of the field and tried to ensure conditions through his plots were consistent. He worked tirelessly and ensured he tended to the field – even the sections where the crops were not doing particularly well.

The seeds began to grow strong into leafy vegetables, ripe for harvest. He shared the harvest with those neighbouring farmers and got their feedback. He worked with other farmers to assess the quality of their produce and try to understand how the conditions affects the growth of his crops. He loved his field and his crops; but also those around him who was at work in their own fields. Over time, his knowledge of caring for crops grew and the other farmers happily allowed him to supervise their farms as well, and the plots under his purview and care grew as well.

Another farmer also sow seeds into the field and worked equally hard. He built shelters for the seedlings that were not faring well against the weather. But when they performed worse, he began to curse the land for not giving their yield. He became clumsy towards the saplings that didn’t seem to do very well. He noted the parts of the fields that ‘were bad’ and treated them badly – he would water them inconsistently and applied too little or too much fertilisers. Only the land that yielded good crops, he tended to them in accordance to what he knows about caring for the crops. The size of the plot he was attentive to shrank each year.

During harvest times, he gathered all the good crops and seeing they were few, guarded them in a barn that was well secured. He was often embarrassed about the bad harvests and thus consulted no one about it. The land plots that he stopped tending became weed infested; and the weeds started encroaching into the ‘good plots’. Enraged, he applied too much weedkillers on those lands and ended up poisoning them. The leachate from the soil washed into the good plots and destroyed even the good crops he was cultivating.

When other farmers tried to help, he pretended he didn’t hear their advice. He ignored them during farmer gatherings and focused on griping about his plight. The profound loss he felt in failing at his life work had overwhelmed him.

The good farmer came to offer his friendship and fellowship, desiring to work together to restore his land with him. They returned to his field and he stared at the mess with tears in his eyes. He wondered if the mess could ever be fixed; he was deeply embarrassed by his naivety and childishness. There was a deep urge to breakdown, and chase out the good farmer but he held back and remained cordial. He suspected the good farmer had simply come to mock him.

  • Stay tuned for Part 2 of the tale –