Facebook is the greatest marketing tool in the history of humankind. It feeds us exactly what we want by analyzing our habits and demographics with absolute precision. For example, I wanted to purchase a watch earlier this year. After a few online searches, ads for watches littered my Facebook newsfeed.
The Facebook algorithm is built entirely around the concept that you reap what you sow. Whatever you like, whatever you comment on, whatever you read, it returns more of the same. That’s why a steady diet of cat videos and baby pictures returns more cat videos and baby pictures. Every day, every click, fuels the machine. As a result, your newsfeed is a direct reflection of what you chose to engage in. It’s not a true picture of the way things actually are—it’s the way you see the world. It enhances your perspective and your prejudices.
If you click on articles that incite your fear about your children’s health or the toxicity of your community’s water, you feed the underlying fears. You reap what you sow.
Sadly, few of us slow down long enough to pay attention to the effects. We click and engage and bicker and fight and laugh and cry and the cycle continues. But what if we chose to own what we feed our minds? What if we chose where to impart our energy?
Your life is a lot like your Facebook feed. You can’t control circumstances and you certainly can’t control others, but you can always control what you choose to engage in. I reached a point a couple of years ago where I was tired of feeding myself things that didn’t align with my values. I was tired of moving in a direction I didn’t want to go.
In short, I chose to change the seed I was sowing.
You Reap What You Sow
I had to come to the realization that a half-full glass is always half-empty to some people. That doesn’t mean it has to be half-empty for you. And it doesn’t mean that you have to spend your time trying to convince them that the glass is half-full. You simply have to choose to see the glass as half-full and live accordingly.
A change in perspective begins with how you choose to see the world and what you choose to focus on. That shift begins with humility—the admission that you need to change. You can only become part of the solution when you realize that you’re part of the problem.
As a culture, we’ve sown into reality television stars, now one is our President. We’ve allowed anger and hate to infiltrate our hearts, so now it infiltrates our streets. We’ve sown into fear, and we live fearful.
We don’t blame the circumstances. We change what we see by changing what we sow.
Do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good
Our hope rests in our willingness to not grow weary in doing good—we have to sow good seed. When it seems like the outcome isn’t what you want, continue sowing goodness in the world. In due season, you will reap a harvest. Whatever you give your energy to, it will increase. Whatever you withhold your energy from will decrease. Therefore be consumed with giving your time and energy to that which is good.
Freedom is ultimately found in learning that we can not always control the harvest, but we can control the seed that we choose to sow. Be among those who sow and give their energy to love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and faithfulness and gentleness and self-control.
For those, the harvest will be rich.