I was staring at the obvious and it suddenly hit me like a bolt of blue lightning.
People drive past acres of cornfields everyday and most miss it. I did for a long time, until I saw what was happening in the cornfield. It was awesome!
On this particular day, I stood at the roadside and studied the rows of corn. The symmetry was artistic in its way, but the repetitive linear rows were the work of the seeding machine and a farmer. But something else was going on. I noticed, really becoming aware for the first time, how even the tops of the corn stalks were. The field stretched out into the hazy distance. My view was clear. The height of the stalks were amazing in their uniformity.
How like humans they are, I pondered.
Inside each and every corn seed that arrives in a burlap bag from a distributor is the DNA of the corn plant. Deep in the cells of countless seeds is a signal, built in by nature, to tell the plant to stop growing. And here is the most incredible thing of all: the plants obey! As a rule it is not a rational choice with vegetation to do what is best or what is expected. Their soul and brain are sealed in the nucleus. They cannot exhibit conscious behavior (as far as we know).
We humans, at the top of the Animal Kingdom, can make choices.
Inside our own cells is a similar bit of genetic code that tells a human to stop growing. The real beauty, here, is that the ‘stop’ signal does allow for variations. Not all humans are the same height. But, given the number of individuals involved, (the population of the entire globe over millennia) the height is remarkably within certain perameters. Some people are small and some are not (google Yao Ming). These are the outliers…the individuals that do not fall in the bell curve of human height. But, again, given the countless numbers, its all pretty close.
Back in the cornfield, we see these outliers. Every so many rows there will be a stalk that has defied the DNA and shot up another 8 inches…or stopped growing 6 inches too soon.
But its still corn. And the outlier people are still people.
Tonight, the corn chewers look with love at that fat cob, dripping with butter, pepper and salt (hey, watch your Sodium intake). These eaters are not aware if the ear they’re holding is an outlier or not. It tastes just as sweet.
But when humans confront human outliers, they marginalize them. She’s too tall. He’s too short.
We should study the corn and learn a lesson. The people who are off the charts in some way, can be more exceptional in ways we have not even considered .