By Casey McCarthy 

Who are you harvesting for?

This question struck me as I sat in contemplation around our upcoming kvasifest celebration. I tend to think a lot about social dynamics and the ways in which culture dictates our connection to the sublime, to the earth, to each other. In our current age of strife and polarization in this country, I find myself reflecting on community and the values through which we engage and I return to my quandary.

Who am I harvesting for?

As we step into Kvasi Fest and embody the energy of the harvest, I have to take a hard look at myself and ask what my underlying motivations are for the harvests I am reaping. Do I bring abundance for my community, my family, my close people? Do I toil and enact labor because I am trying to be a productive part of a greater whole? Or do I strain at this work because I want to be recognized for it?

In our country right now we obsess over the individual achiever. We are enraptured by the successful CEO, or the wealthy rock star. We base the merits of our success upon the measuring pole of personal wealth and gain. We enable harvesters that base their identity on how much they harvest, not how many they feed. Our social media megaliths are pushing narratives around individual successes and how the wealthy are the powerful ones. The selfish and greedy are given the airtime. Whether for us loving them or hating them, we are still occupying ourselves with them. We are putting energy into the harvesters, not the gatherers. Where are the stories of everyday people doing acts for the community? Where are the heroes being exalted for creating a better world for the collective?

This is my struggle when I look at what I’m harvesting and ask myself, again, “who is it for?” I can fully admit to myself that prior to this journey, I tended to think altruistically about helping others, but on a deeper layer be concerned with being the “white knight” or “savior”. It wasn’t about truly reaping a harvest for the community. It was about being seen in that role. For me, shifting from a “service-for-recognition role” to a “service for service’s sake role” has made all the difference. My father imparted a quote to me once which stuck with me: “honor and character are what define us. Both are determined, not by what we do and say in public, but by what we do and say in solitude.”

If there is no one to provide you immediate accolades for your harvesting, who are you doing it for? Do you do it for the future ego-stroking of being a “hero”, or do you do your work quietly and with great determination and never tell anyone you were the one who did it? If there is no “you” in the equation, then the only option then becomes “everyone else.”

This Kvasi Fest, take some time to contemplate what you’re harvesting and who it’s for. Now is the time to take stock and make changes if your harvest isn’t what you want it to be.