We will always reap what we sow. Of this, I am most certain.
Each and every day we are faced with choices. The manner in which we choose says so much about who we are and our character. As an observer of human behavior, I find it fascinating to watch. At times I wish I could be an outside observer of my own behavior to determine the kind of person I am to others. It is a dilemma I have often faced throughout my life. It is much like trying to touch your elbow to your nose. It is an impossibility, but I still might desire to try. I've often wished I could be the fly on the wall to see myself for who I am on the outside... not just to see myself from the inside looking out. I wish to see myself the way others see me. I can see. I can try, but like my elbow, I can not make it happen. Not in this lifetime anyways.
I often ponder on the words of Jesus Christ in the New Testament where He talks of the deaf who do not hear and the blind who will not see. I see this so often around me. It is frustrating and sorrowful to me. I witness the things people do to others without thinking first of the consequences of those actions first. I mourn for myself at my own selfishness and the hurts I cause others. I have often thought of Nephi in his anguish as he spoke in 2 Nephi 4:15-35. I understand this anguish as I have felt it before and it brings me to my knees again and again. This human weakness called Selfishness and it's twin sister named Pride are always at the root of the behavior. It is disheartening and painful and causes me great angst.
The one thing that is true and will always be true is that our God is a just God. Yes, He is merciful, but only within the bounds of eternal law that is set, that even He is bound by. We are bound by the choices we knowingly and willfully make. We will reap what we sow.
Sow kindness and you will receive kindness.
Sow mercy and you will receive mercy.
Sow generosity and you will be loved by many.
Sow selfishness and you will be loved by few.
Sow deceit and you will be deceived.
Sow love and you shall be loved.
Sow hate and you shall be hated.
It is plain and simple. Black and white. There is no gray area. Eternal laws cannot be changed. They are what they are. There are no exceptions. Once a seed has been planted, it cannot be changed into something else. You cannot plant a watermelon seed and expect to harvest a pumpkin. It is as impossible as touching your elbow to your nose. Once the seed has been planted and begins to grow, the only way to change it into something else is to dig it up by the roots and destroy the plant. You can then begin anew and plant a new seed. That is the only way.
I once knew a man who reaped kindness and generosity to everyone he met. He always had a smile on his face and a kind word for each person he met each day. He gave to the poor and the needy. He was an honest man who owned his own business. He was honest and ethical with his clients. His clients were loyal and trusted his advice. One day, he died unexpectedly from a heart attack at a young age. His death was mourned by people all over the world. His funeral had over 1,800 people in attendance. He reaped what he sowed.
I once knew another man who sat in his house every day, alone. He decided he had done enough for other people in his life and that he deserved to not have to serve others anymore, that it was their turn to serve him. He was bitter and held onto grudges for conceived slights from the past. He was always complaining and felt that people were out to get him. He had plenty of money, but refused to spend any of it. He let it sit in the bank to collect interest. He didn't see the need to use a small portion of his money to help others in need. When he died, there were only a few handfuls of people at the funeral and most of those people in attendance were his children and grandchildren. He died with all of his money still in the bank. His children never came to visit him, but he never went to visit them either. He died alone because his selfishness drove people away. He reaped what he sowed.
This life is too short to be unhappy. This life is too short to be selfish. The way we treat others now will be the way others treat us now and in the future. I want my children and grandchildren to be kind to me when I can no longer take care of myself so I teach them by serving my grandmothers. I want others to be honest with me so I try to be honest with them. I try to treat others the way I would like to be treated. I am far from perfect and I am not always liked or accepted, but that is okay. I can't change others, but I can change myself. I can reflect on my choices each day and if I find a bad seed that I have planted I can root it up and destroy it as soon as I find it. I recognize that I cannot be perfect in this life, but I can be mindful of the seeds I plant in my garden and hopefully, when I reach the end of my life, I will have cultivated a garden filled mostly with beautiful flowers and produce and very few weeds. That is the goal I am aiming for. So...what kind of garden are you planting and growing? Will you be happy with what you sow?