I’m not sure who associated the seed with the idea – if I were to hazard a guess, I’d probably venture to say Jesus’s story of the farmer throwing seed – but I feel that story fits best what I am trying to do.
During the two months of loneliness in Oregon, when my car was not working and I was finding out about how much money I will not have, I went into a deep and heavy depression based on a lot of deep and heavy thought. The benefit of this time was the self-examination I put myself through, which was probably deeper than any I’ve done to myself in my past. I had already been aware, and was trying to plan, the means to escape this past around the time I was dumped, but by being dumped I was able to see some ugly and dark truths about myself – things people were telling me, things SHE was telling me, but that I was not listening to.
The realization was that, although I had lost the person who had become my best friend and my lover due to my own inadequacies, insecurities and failures, I did not let those dictate the person I could or will become. I can take the positives, the energy she brought, the good things that I felt came from our relationship, start building and expanding on that, and become the person I want to be.
During the last week I was there I began to read a book that was given to me during my Junior year by my uncle Craig. He had given this to me in the hopes that I would read it, take what I learned from it, and become a better man from it. Upon reading the first two parts, another of those “Should have done this sooner” lightbulbs lit in my head. Although I can not rush and finish this book – which, given what it’s designed to address, is not something that should be rushed – I can go forward with the idea that came from there and is (as far as I have seen so far) spread throughout pages of the Bible.
This is where the story comes in. In Luke 8:4-15, Jesus tells the tale of how the farmer spreads the seed all over his field. Some of that seed is ate up by birds, some fall under heavy boulders and can not grow, and some of it lands in thorny bushes where it also can not grow. The stuff that does land in fertile land grows ripe and tall, and produces a bountiful crop. His analogy with that story was that the seed was the message carried by Christianity, but there are numerous other times prior to this, notably in Genesis, where God tells his people to go forward and prosper. (Yes, in Genesis the reason is different – Man needed to divide, to spread out across the land – but I hope you can see the similarities that I will point out.)
In the book I am reading – “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey – it talks about the development of Character ethic in the development of us as opposed to the Character Ethic described in many modern books of success. One of the suggestions – talking to someone after you’ve learned something within 48 hours – is where the problem and the idea came.
One of my big goals this year is to improve my life for the better. I’m tired of falling into the same traps, being disappointed and rejected by those who can not understand or accept me for who I am, and I’m tired of struggling with the things in life that I should not have to struggle with: Poverty, lack of success. All of us have the ability to make our lives as we see fit, to achieve the kinds of successes we want in life, and to become the kind of people we want ourselves to be. All of us have the power to achieve in life what we want from it, and it comes down to understanding what it is we really want, what it is we have to give, and what it is we need to succeed.
Yet, all of us, in one way or another, have limitations we must work within to achieve these goals. Some of us are poor or come from poor backgrounds, and have no clue how to prosper or become rich. Some of us are lonely, have success like crazy but no real understanding of the value of relationships. Some of us are limited by our own physical or mental handicaps, and may never be able to see, hear, or walk in the same fashion as a normal person.
When I was in Oregon, the limitation was Crystal-Clear: the only person I had to share such an idea with dumped me for not being able to open up to her.
Thus, the idea: a weekly meeting/potluck in which a group of people get together to discuss their self-improvement in their lives. No one would be required to follow a specific book, be of a particular religion or political belief, or be restricted in any other way. The only three real restrictions would be that everyone there would have to be a positive, supportive role for each other; that everyone has a plan to follow, whether it falls under a book or comes from a plan; and that everyone works to achieve this goal.
The Objectives and Goals of These Meetings
The idea itself is pretty simple: get a bunch of people, all of whom want something more in life, something that isn’t going to be achieved in a gay, a week or even a month. It can be something that doesn’t require a book like weight loss or improved health. It could be something more abstract like a better relationship with your spouse or kids. It could be something far-reaching like returning to school or achieving success at work.
The requirements are simple:
- It has to be a long-term, bigger-issue problem
– it makes no sense to join a group to solve a problem that could be fixed in a day or week, does it?
- It has to be something the combined efforts of a group can help you with – some people only need an ear to hear their struggles and advice to move forward. Some people will need a partner or two to help with their problems. The worst you can ever get from the group without doing something offensive is an ear and a show of support, if nothing more can be offered.
- It has to be something you are capable of working on by yourself – Although you will be getting a network of friends and a show of support, it means nothing without you putting the effort into your goal. Remember, you will only get out of it what you put into it.
- You have something you can contribute – Most of us have experiences, stories to share or thoughts and reactions to help guide us in our struggles. If the best you can do is share your experiences and wisdom, it’s still a contribution.
What I am looking for is a positive attitude towards growth and improvement that helps and effects the people who get involved. We will each be investing in ourselves and in each other, helping us to pursue our goals, providing both experience and knowledge we gain and have gained, sometimes – when we can do so – extending a hand to help, as we are needed.
The group only has the one exclusion I mentioned before – there is no age requirement, no racial division, no gender division, no political, social, or religious divide.
The objective of the group is to provide each other with the tools and the network to improve the qualities of each other’s lives – as such, the only exclusion to groups such as Alcoholics anonymous and Lions Club is what schedule we keep.
This objective will be achieved by people submitting their goals, their plans, and talking to us of what they experienced, learned and need each week.
So How Can I Join?
Right now I am looking to start a small, 8 person group. As the meetings go forward, and we become more established, we will begin to let others in. During this time we will experiment with format, so that we find a base in which everyone gains, has support, and helps themselves and each other. After all, what good is personal success if we can not share it with those around us?
I have a couple of people I’ve already asked, so counting myself, I’d like to have 5 other people. I will let you know as soon as I can set details, of when and where this meeting will be. Thank you.