It’s an old self-explanatory proverb from the bible. Literally, it means that whatever you will sow, you will reap. If you sow an apple seed, it will grow into apple bearing tree. If you sow a lemon seed, it will bear lemons and not apples or oranges. Moreover, a seed needs lot of care and attention so it can bear sweet fruits. While a seed that is sown with insufficient care and is not tended to properly, bears not so sweet fruits and wither away. Such plants also become unwanted and are plucked out and burnt like the Weeds or the wild plants that affect the growth of other plants.
This is also true for human beings. You care for them and their needs in their infant years; nursing and nurturing them in their growing years to raise them into a well-groomed adult and it all comes back to you in your old age. But if you neglect them and do not pay enough attention to their needs then they will not return the favours. Here it’s not about doing what you did for them. It’s about doing your duties right so they observe you and do their duties too.
To support this statement there is a Hindu religious text on Lord Hanuman (The Monkey God) known as ‘Sundarkand’ stating that you should nurture your children not because you want them to care for u in old age or take care of your parents not because you want a share in their property but because the child will observe you and learn from your actions and will do the same as an adult. When you teach a child about his/her duties towards others, he will listen to you but he is only able to retain 20% of what you said. While he is able to retain 50% of what he sees and hears. But he retains 80% of what he experiences and 95% of what he acts upon.
So, if you want your child to learn good things, respect others and be helpful in his endeavours then you need to teach them at a tender age not only by telling him to be good and helpful and respectful of others but by doing it yourself so the child can observe and learn. And then encouraging him to do the same. Once he develops these traits it will become his attitude towards life and he will follow it through out and he may also encourage others to do the same. This attitude and traits are only developed if observed and felt by a person. It cannot be taught through texts and scriptures alone. It must be inculcated not ingrained.
Let us only sow those qualities in our child which we wish to reap when he grows up. Sow it not only with love, care and attention but also through lesson, observations and actions so they learn it, adopt it and follow it through the course of their life. And bear sweetest of fruits of humanity.