A Pile of Manure

Money is like manure. If you continue to pile it in one big pile all you have is something that stinks to high heaven. However if you spread it around it’s amazing what good it can do. —  Anon.

A friend told me this analogy a while back. He was about to receive a good deal of money and all his friends had counseled him to hold onto it all and not waste it. Instead he was inclined to give a good portion to charity. His father once told him this analogy when he was a young man. He said giving away money to those in need is like planting mustard seeds. Much of the money will be wasted by the recipients, but a few seeds will fall on fertile ground and produce amazing results.

I was reminded of his wisdom when I heard the news about all the money people spent on the days after Thanksgiving and then read that charitable giving is way down this year. I admit that I once was drawn to money and buying things for friends and family. It did not serve me well.

I think we should all consider advent season and ask ourselves whether we are accumulating manure or whether we are fertilizing our community and the world. The last thing any of us need is a pile of manure stinking up our house.


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

1 Comment +

  1. My undergraduate major at the University of California, Davis was Soil & Water Science, fertilizer and irrigation in common English, and a BS in BS in crude French. The Soil & Water Science program was considered the best in the world at the time. I was the top student in the major when I graduated in 1979. I was honored to carry the program’s standard to the stage when it was our turn to receive our diplomas. My first real job after graduation was managing a Farm School at Maradi, Niger, West Africa. One of the things we taught our students was the proper use of manure as fertilizer. The first thing you have to realize about manure is that hot BS is toxic, both literally and figuratively, so let it mellow 2-3 years. Second, spread it thin and where it will do the most good. Follow those two simple concepts and your result will stand out head and shoulder higher than those who don’t use manure. Those who misuse manure will kill their crops and come begging for food at harvest.

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