Saturday, June 24, 2006

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

The most instructive parable which illustrates the work, successful and unsuccessful, of the recruiter is found in the Holy Bible. Obviously I don't intend to present a religious lesson. If I knew of better examples from Shakespeare or some other secular source, I would be citing them.

Here is the parable from chapter 9 of St. Luke:

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

"And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

"And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

"And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold....

"And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

"And he said.... Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

"Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts. lest they should believe and be saved.

"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

"And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

"But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."

Notice that although the seed was good and the sower labored faithfully, the results did not meet with the same success.

The failures were due to the quality of the ground/hearers. This is important. When the Esperanto recruiter sincerely tries to make other people into Esperantists, many will completely ignore him or her, and others will put forth the lamest excuses imaginable, etc.

1. Those who hear but later ignore the information. They allow other influences to erase the invitation.

2. Those who at first react enthusiastically, but soon give up because they are shallow people.

3. Those who are merely too occupied with many matters, some perhaps also good. Esperanto study competes against modern calls to join health clubs, save the whales, volunteer to help the poor and sick, and so forth.

4. Those who sufficiently value Esperanto so that they faithfully continue study in spite of competing influences.

We should never become discouraged due to the failures of other people.

The lack of complete success is to be expected and is inevitable. But the duty of the sowers and/or recruiters is to continue their efforts all the same.


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