Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain of wheat; but if it falls to the ground and dies, it brings forth a great deal of fruit. You and I, and every human being, is like a grain of wheat. We have goodness, fruitfulness, talent, and ability within us. The big difficulty, keeping us from realizing our potential, is that, like the grain of wheat, we have on the outside a hard shell. Our shell is always some for of selfishness. Selfishness can take strange forms. It can be self-defense. We try to do good in our life and we get hurt by other people. Our attempts to do good are rejected. We retreat into a shell of self-defense. We hesitate to attempt anything good lest we get hurt.
Our selfishness can take the form of self-pity. Poor me, nothing I do is right. Everything bad happens to me.
Our selfishness could be more obvious like booze to excess, drugs, sex outside of marriage, ect. It could be anger, bitterness, hatred, revenge or dishonesty. Evey sin, for that matter, is selfishness.
But what does Our Lord say we must do with our hard shell of selfishness in order to live a fruitful life? It must fall to the ground and die. How much of our selfishness has to go? All of it! If we could bury all of our selfishness in one day and get it over with, it would be easy. Since this is impossible, we have to bury the grain of wheat ever day. Then only will we live fruitful, happy lives.
If we refuse to bury the grain of wheat, Christ said, it remains just a grain of wheat. In other words, we remain in our shell of selfishness and in that shell, we love no one, not even ourselves, and that is really what hell is.
When two people get married, it's like burying two grains of wheat side by side, and hoping they will come up one. They psychologically must leave their father and mother and cling to each other, and the two become one. This oneness is not achieved until both bury their selfishness totally, after much sacrifice. If they, through selfishness, just hurt each other, instead of becoming one, they end up two people walled off from each other by their thick shells. The more they irritate each other, the thicker their shells. We must indeed learn daily to bury the particular forms of selfishness that form our shells. Only then can we live fruitful, happy lives.
- William Malewitz, Songs Of A Beachcomber