Lesson from a mango tree
When you plant a mango seedling, you may expect your first harvest of fruits in three to six years — provided, of course, that weather conditions are suitable for the tree.
Between the time of planting and harvesting and nurturing the seedling into maturity, you can take pleasure in watching the growth progression of your mango tree.
On its sixth year, you can rest and relax under the shade of its spreading canopy, and savour the sweetness of your first harvest.
Life, if planting a tree, is simple.
You plant a fruit tree, nurture it, and you get to enjoy its fruits.
You plant a shade tree, care for it, and you get to enjoy its shade.
We reap what we sow. This is the natural cycle of Life and Living.
In Life, doing a good turn is also simple — for those with pure hearts. They do good deeds because it is the right thing to do. It gives them cheer and comfort knowing that somehow, they have done something for someone that might change the latter’s life for the better.
But what if one does a good deed for another, with the express purpose of getting something in return? Will this make the doer happy? And will the expected “reward” for doing good happen at all?
Indeed, we reap what we sow. It might happen in an instant, or maybe next week or next year, or it could take forever.
The person who dispensed the favour would eventually receive some advantage in exchange for what was earlier given. That is a natural cycle of Life and Living.
But this person may be destined to come across like-minded people. Those who would only give favours in return for something beneficial to the giver.
Think quid pro quo.
Or, as many politicians practice in making deals, “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” and never mind if the beneficiaries were only a tiny fraction of the elected politician’s constituency, if at all.
Or worse, the beneficiary could only be the politician’s cronies.
But, yes, we reap the mirror results of the deeds we have done. That is Life.
You do a good turn with a calculating heart and you could reap the same, in time — but minus the goodwill and sense of indebtedness to the giver who had less than a pure heart. The recipient would only be too aware that the good deed was dispensed with guile.
Doing good turns for expediency could not, would not, make one genuinely happy.
But if it were given without any expectation of something in return, the goodwill and the sense of indebtedness could last.
Take a lesson from the mango tree that could give fruit for years and years and years, or perhaps from some mango trees which, according to California Rare Fruit Growers, were reported to be older than 300 years and were still bearing fruit.
How is that for reaping the good that you planted?
So when planting a mango seedling, visualize how many mango lovers would savour eating the fruit off your tree when the fruits, either green or ripe, mature.
When planting shade trees, think of the refreshing coolness other people would enjoy under its canopy.
You plant, you harvest its rewards with thoughts of sharing the bounty with others. No strings attached. Just the thought of giving, of sharing, of doing a good turn without expecting anything in return.
You’ll never know if that mango tree you planted would keep on bearing fruit for at least a hundred years — as reward for your selfless giving to others!