I was coerced into going to a Women of Faith weekend event a few years back. My favorite speaker was Andy Andrews, a story teller talking about The Butterfly Effect!
Here are the rough notes I typed from the video I’ll share below: Henry Wallace was Vice President under Roosevelt and a former secretary of ag. He used the power of his position to create a station in Mexico whose sole purpose was to hybridize corn and wheat for arid climates. He hired Norman Borlaug to run it.
Nineteen year old George Washington Carver had a dairy science professor who allowed his six year old boy named Henry Wallace to go on weekend botanical expeditions and learn the importance of plants from Carver.
We can’t stop the story here, you need to know about the Missouri farmer named Moses and his wife Susan who lived in a slave state but didn’t believe in slavery. Raiders drug off a lady, Mary Washington, who wouldn’t let go of her little boy named George. Moses went to a crossroads in Kansas to meet raiders. Moses traded the last horse on his farm for what they threw him in a burlap bag. It held a cold, naked almost dead baby boy. Mr. Carver walked the baby out of the situation and promised him to raise him as his own.
While the details of this story have grown a bit fuzzy in my mind since the Women of Faith event I attended, the bigger meaning has stayed in my heart. We all have a purpose and can be contributing and changing the world around us far more than we can see now by the little things that we do. How about the Washington family doing jobs that can feel monotonous and can lack meaning like changing diapers and cleaning up after a kid? What if they hadn’t done the basic stuff? I love stories where the tedious tasks turn out to be some of the most important things we’ll ever do in our life.
I wrote this post to join the celebration of Norman Borlaug’s 100th birthday.
He is credited with saving two million lives through the course of his research, but look at of the people who contributed to his story!
As I’ve read about him, his granddaughter shares in this article that he would want people to focus on what’s next in terms of feeding a growing population.
I work in agriculture, I continually see restrictions being put on our food production system, but when I have conversations about the bigger picture people sometimes seem to zone out or become disconnected. I think it’s hard to live in the United States with a full belly and think about how our choices might affect someone on the other side of the world in ten years.
No matter your job, you (as a human or “butterfly”) are part of the food equation! You can affect lives by learning about GMOs and the potential they have to help contribute to the growing the hunger problem. You can study whether you want to live in fear at the grocery store, or purchase with confidence. You can be informed about food purchasing decisions and more confident about how you communicate those with others. What if one misinformed comment snowballs through other conversations into a regulation that ends up taking away food from someone on the other side of the world in ten years. You are a part of this. Please learn about what current researchers are doing to address this challenge and think about how you can support that. There certainly are a lot of myths about food that are being propagated.
You have wings that flap, how will you use that power to positively contribute to a growing world?