Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hydrogeography of Giving

I do not usually forward or post anonymous, schmaltzy tidbits from the Internet, but I could not resist the geography metaphor in this plea for living generously. (I received it from a fellow geographer who is also not in the habit.)


Image: AtlasTours


Sitting in the geography class in school, I remember how fascinated I was when we were being taught all about the Dead Sea.  

If you recall, the Dead Sea is really a lake, not a sea. Its so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. One can almost lie down and read a book!

The salt in the Dead Sea is as high as 35% - almost 10 times the normal ocean water. And all that saltiness has meant that there is no life at all in the Dead Sea. No fish. No vegetation. No sea animals. Nothing lives in the Dead sea.

Hence the name: Dead Sea.

While the Dead Sea has remained etched in my memory, I don't seem to recall learning about the Sea of Galilee in my school geography lesson. So, when I heard about the Sea of Galilee & the Dead Sea and, the tale of the two seas - I was intrigued.
Turns out that the Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea. Both, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, receive their water from river Jordan. Yet, they are very, very different.

Unlike the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee is pretty, resplendent with rich, colorful marine life. There are lots of plants and lot of fish, too. In fact, the sea of Galilee is home to over twenty different types of fishes.
Same region, same source of water, and yet, one sea is full of life, the other is dead. How come?

Here is why: The River Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee and then flows out. The water simply passes through the Sea of Galilee in and out - and that keeps the Sea healthy and vibrant, teeming with marine life.

But: the Dead Sea is so far below the sea level, that it has no outlet. The water flows in from the river Jordan, but does not flow out. There are no outlet streams at all. It is estimated that over a million tons of water evaporates from the Dead Sea every day, leaving it salty. Too full of minerals and unfit for any marine life.

The Dead Sea takes water from the River Jordan, and holds it. It does not give/flow out. Result? No life at all. Think about it. Life is not just about getting. Its about giving, sharing. We all need to be a bit like the Sea of Galilee. 



We are fortunate to get wealth, knowledge, love and respect. But, if we don't learn to give, we could all end up like the Dead Sea. The love, the respect, the wealth and the knowledge; could all evaporate. Like the water in the Dead Sea.

If we get the Dead Sea mentality of merely taking in more water, more money, more of everything, the results can be disastrous. A good idea to make sure that in the sea of your own life, you must have outlets. Many outlets for love, wealth and everything else that you get in your life. Make sure you don't just get, you give out, too. Open the taps. And you'll be opening the floodgates to happiness.

Make that a habit. To share. To give. Experience life. Experience the magic of giving.



James here again: The geography metaphor is much ore useful with a map. Click below to pan, zoom, and activate labels.


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