Look Inside for Success

By Bill Hodges

©2003 Hodges Seminars International

For my younger readers and those who have always lived in the city, a threshing bee was an event, when I was a child living on a farm in Canada, that brought farm neighbors together to help each other. Each farmer cut the wheat in his own field and bundled it up in shocks. Someone in the community who owned a steam engine would bring it to the farm. At about 4 a.m., they would start the fires to build up a head of steam. The steam engine would then drive the mechanical thresher, which would be hand-fed the shocks of wheat. That was the mechanical part of threshing.

The truly great part of the threshing bee was that neighbors got together to help each other bring in the harvest and everyone in the community contributed. The men would load the wagons in the fields, the children would help at the threshing machine and all of the women would bring their particular specialty for the harvest meal. If Mrs. Brown was the blue ribbon pie winner at the county fair, she brought pies. If Mrs. Smith had the best cured hams, she would bring a ham. I can tell you it was like going to a county fair and having the opportunity to sample the "Best of Show" in every category. Nobody kept track of who brought what or how many hours they worked on a particular farm. They worked together for the common good, without someone keeping track of IOUís.

I had almost forgotten about the threshing bee and what a wonderful thing it was in our community, until I talked with a friend who told me about his very active and enthusiastic mother and a group to which she belongs. By the way, his mother is 96 years young and just bought a brand new car for herself to drive. She has belonged to a group in southeastern Ohio called We Do As You Like for a number of years. At its apex, the group was 50 members strong. It was dedicated to self-help projects. As I understand it, the members would meet at the home of one member and help that member do any chore the member chose. The chore might be painting a wall, darning a sock, or hoeing a garden. They tell me it was really true that many hands make easy work. Many tasks that would have been tiresome for a person to do alone became enjoyable social occasions.

Wouldnít it be great if we could revive that community spirit, where neighbor helped neighbor without desire for monetary reward? We canít bring back the threshing bee, but all is not lost because there are isolated outposts, where people do help people. Maybe we can use these as models to expand our community involvement. Habitat for Humanity is one such program. Iím sure there are others. With a commitment to community, we could have a Habitat For Our Town, where we as neighbors get together to help each other.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

Web site: http://www.BillHodges.com

Observer News Front Page