One recent Saturday, my husband and I drove over to enjoy the wine and music at Heisen House Vineyards. There I was in that gorgeous setting, sipping the lovely Tempranillo made by my friend Michelle and listening to the wonderful music of Tom May. The day was perfection.
Thirty yards away were new grape vines, springing generously out of the fertile earth. And my mind began to wander…
I began to think about the grapes. My thoughts took a stroll into the heart of the vineyard. I was considering just what it takes for grapes to mature into the sumptuous jewels that are then finessed into fine wine?
Just days before, I’d watched a program on the care and culture of grapes. All grape varieties need soil, sun and rain. There are also some grape varieties that require more specific conditions to fulfill their highest potential. And when they find the conditions less than hospitable, they can’t just uproot themselves and move elsewhere. Vines must be pruned so there is enough canopy for photosynthesis, but not too much shade for the grapes to ripen. One of the practices of modern viniculture is to remove some of the small grape clusters early so the energy is pushed into the remaining fruit. The sugar and acid content are carefully monitored for the perfect balance before they are harvested. All this care serves to enhance the essence of the grape and bring out the best that’s already there.
Of course my strolling thoughts led me to think about the care and feeding of humans and what it takes for their development to their full potential. I’m talking about the potential we’re born with and how that can be nurtured to its full fruiting.
We all have basic needs for shelter, food, water. Then what do we need after that?
So what is the essence of human beings that we would want to enhance? What if we could all live together peacefully? What do we need to learn cooperation?
What about our natural inclination to cooperate? Did you know that we’re born into this life as cooperative beings? That we’re also hardwired to recognize injustice?
Yes, we come equipped with the ability to recognize cooperative effort.
Studies show that even as infants we gravitate and give our seal of approval to cooperative behavior. And when infants observe behavior that is unfair they recognize and disapprove of the injustice.
Now, imagine that. We come into the world knowing what cooperation, fairness and justice look like and we know it when we see it.
We know it when we see it.