Thank You for Corny Aspirations to Goodness, Leaving Greatness to the Fate of Humans

Bad news…

We’re all gonna die.

Good news…

We get to live until that happens.

We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about our death, but we try to circumvent the inevitable by aspiring to some greatness that will last longer than our bodies.

It seems we are not too inclined to focus on the bad news while we are making the most of the good news.

And that is probably best, otherwise things could get a little maudlin and we might forfeit our aspirations as pointless, miss out on a lot of action words, and just sit around waitin’ for the reaper to harvest us like corn.

It may seem like Corn doesn’t do much.

It just stands there and waits for the bad news.

But the thing we don’t notice about corn is that the whole time it’s standing there waiting for the bad news, it is quietly aspiring toward goodness with the good news.

Corn does not aspire to Greatness. It doesn’t try to be a rock star, attempt to write a great novel, acquire the nobel prize, or seek honorable mention from peers in the corn field.

It just aspires to goodness.

If all the corn in Nebraska decided to aspire to Greatness one day, separate itself from the rest of the corn, stand out as a leader among corn, and claim territory in the archives of history as an individual ear of corn with exception, then what would happen?

I’ll tell ya what, we’d have a bunch of self centered, egomaniac, scared-to-die corn stalkers running around and a whole lot of people would live without the goodness of tortillas and nachos, that’s what.

But no, Corn knows what the deal is.

It does not aspire to greatness.

It does not seek the transient accolades of seeming special, does not live in some illusion that it is better than the field it grows in, or superior to the people who eat it.

Corn is wise in it’s social standing and sagacious in it’s true purpose in nature. It does not need Greatness.

But humans, on the other hand seem to need a bigger goal.

They like their mythology. They are attached to their beliefs in the afterlife, and work very hard to assure that the bad news won’t make them disappear from the field forever.

And again, that’s probably best.

But I think we can enhance the good news by learning from Corn about goodness.

Goodness outlives Greatness.

Greatness has individual brilliance, intellect, power, and social significance.

But Goodness is at the heart of the matter when it comes to the good news.



I’m talking about real corn, not genetically modified robo-corn, or that stuff that Monsanto builds—that stuff does not have a heart.


~ by leakelley on July 1, 2012.

5 Responses to “Thank You for Corny Aspirations to Goodness, Leaving Greatness to the Fate of Humans”

  1. I remember when you took this picture. I still have my copy. Someone sent me that old email Charles Shultz forward the other day…the one that says, Name 5 of the most important winners of Academy Award, Nobel Prize, Heisman Trophy, Wealthiest People, Miss Americas, last 5 World Series winners…etc.

    Then it asks you to 1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

    2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

    3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

    4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!

    5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with

    “Greatness” has many definitions…frankly, I will take the 2nd group any day.

  2. Those are great questions.

    Oh, and I wanted to say, indeed, we could learn a lot from corn. Or dogs. Dogs really want to just be good. Maybe they aspire to greatness, but I don’t think so.

  3. You are such a talented thinker and writer. So glad you are back.

  4. corn can be cloned, and greatness is usually a process of trying to get a goodness out to the world.. of times the limited who judge goodness are working off their inabilities to see, Greatness starts with a service to humanity. Not ego.

  5. “Goodness outlives Greatness.” These recent posts are some of the best of your life – some of the best writing of your very good life. The most amazing people in our collective mythologies are often unknown in the details. We don’t know much about their daily habits. They didn’t need us to know their details. They didn’t need us to know anything. They simply were. And, in your case, my friend, they simply…are.

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