Home Forums Expressions EATING THE SEED CORN

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    I hope everyone enjoys this poem. It is a poem for individuals, families, communities, and for our nation as a people and how we conduct ourselves with regard to each other and any other person. It is about native American term that meant their lives to them, yet can be applied to so many different things we do. When native Americans would harvest their corn for the season and store it, they would save back a certain percentage of it as seeds to plant next year’s crop. If the crop was not so good one year they would have this dilemma, whether to go hungry a lot or eat the seed corn. If they ate the seed corn, obviously they would not have seeds to plant the following year.

    Hunger for something can influence people to make decisions they ordinarily might not and people will risk their future for the here and now. We as people, face the same dilemma not just with our food, we have plenty it seems, but we face the same questions in effect, with regard to money, all the things we have and take for granted, and to our ethics in how we treat others. If we treat someone with respect, we have cultivated the seeds for the future, and enjoy rewards we may deserve by our reputation and our duty to mankind. If we treat them terribly with no regard to the pain they may suffer, those seeds will fall on hard ground and we all pay for that mistake later on. When you read this poem, stop and think about it for a few minutes and read it again slowly and try to understand it’s meaning. After a few days go back and read it yet one more time. I hope you can see the message in these words. I too, learn from my own words when inspired. These words go to the heart of how everything we say and do affects others and how we have become as a nation.


    There is a wise old phrase that native Americans know well.
    It speaks of the worst kind of enemy, any human could meet.
    That enemy isn’t black or white or anywhere in between.
    That enemy isn’t from another country, or even down the street.

    When wealth is dwindling like winter’s snow on a warm Spring day,
    When each day we realize, we have less rather than more,
    When we watch those who govern, take more than they give,
    And to be politically correct, means to give away the store.

    When we cease to be a family of many or even less than a few,
    When the only one that matters, has become me, myself, and I,
    When the moral fabric of our character, begins to feed on itself,
    And we don’t see the forest for the trees, or who of us will even try.

    If the only way to elevate yourself, is to take down your neighbor,
    If the only way to make any progress is at the expense of another,
    If the best definition of help, is of those who help themselves,
    And no matter how much we use, we believe we can always cover.

    For every time we smiled, above every time we frowned,
    For every friend we make, above every friend we lose,
    For every dollar that we save, above every dollar spent,
    And for each seed we plant, above all those we use.

    We should forever cherish the seeds that grew into greatness.
    We should acknowledge how and where those seeds were born.
    We need to literally and figuratively realize, as individuals, as a nation,
    That it’s not too late to change, if we stop…eating…the seed corn.


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