Selfishness and Generosity: Nature’s Secret

An overflowing of love

An overflowing of love

There’s a huge lesson to be learnt from nature. It’s all about the secret relationship between selfishness and generosity.

In nature, selfishness is a self-protective device. As the leaves of a plant curl up and close in towards themselves when the sun is hot and the air is very dry, the plant recognises the need to protect itself against the elements. And so it does not give off any extra moisture to the air.

Every bit of moisture it has must be conserved for its future survival and well-being.  It cannot allow any transpiration through its leaves because it needs every bit of moisture for its own survival.  It is unable to give.

There are many crusty old plants that have devised a careful plan – a mission of not giving. The pine tree has contracted the surface area of its leaves into protective needles to hide its stomata from the drying wind.  No intelligent insect would ever dream of looking for a drop of moisture on a pine needle!

Similarly, a person who feels threatened that he will not have enough for himself also closes up and turns his hands in towards himself.  He looks to his own survival, has nothing to spare and therefore nothing to give.

But when a plant has plenty nutrition, warmth, water and sunlight, it thrives in every way.  It grows and blossoms; it develops fruit and willingly gives of its own richness and abundance. The result of its giving also turns out to be a benefit because the fruit is dispersed and the seeds of its essence spread far and wide.

In the same way, a person who has sufficient nourishment and warmth for his physical and emotional well-being will thrive. And when he has goodness in such abundance that it starts to overflow he does not need to clutch it to himself as he has far more than he can comfortably manage.

So he starts to unfurl his arms and curve out his hands towards others in a gesture of giving. And by the giving of this abundance he too benefits. He is surrounded by the good vibrations of his own generosity and love.
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