Sunday, 17 July 2011

A tale of two seas - lessons from nature

Let this note find you enjoying the weather. Few months back, a friend of mine showed me the magical side of nature. I have been travelling for many years in Mumbai Local trains on the Western line, so caught up in everyday life that I ignored the trees present on both sides of the tracks. In some seasons especially spring, the trees would be blossoming with flowers, I simply never ever noticed! Also even on the roads, I gave nil attention to the greenery. After this introduction, I started observing each tree, across seasons and I was amazed at the magical beauty of nature. I then got some potted plants at home. For the first time, I noticed some flowers. Especially Hibiscus: it blossoms in the morning, by the end of day simply falls off. I was fascinated that it did not care whether there was anyone observing it or not, it simply expressed itself. I started realizing how much beauty is there in the creation & how I was focusing somewhere else. Since then I am in total awe of nature.

Someone recently pointed about how egg is hatched and the mentoring lessons in that. Nature is the best teacher running the biggest school, only this student ignored the simple lessons. Hen knows how much warmth is needed for the egg to hatch. Less is insufficient, lot of heat will instead boil the egg!! It is nurturing the egg such that the chicken breaks it open from inside. Hen cannot break the egg from outside, however difficult the chicken finds it. That is true compassion. A lot of time parents or mentors jump in to make life easy for their kids or mentees only to realize that the true potential remained untapped. Probably a true leader needs to provide an environment that allows the team member to break through his/her perceived limitations, instead of cutting the lesson short by supplying the solution. And yet the true mentor observes, supports & encourages till the mentee finds the solution.

Here is an interesting story on two seas with some interesting lessons. I had heard of Dead Sea in school. No one ever told me this side of the story. You may find it interesting



A tale of Two Seas


Sitting in the Geography class in school, I remember how fascinated I was when we were being taught all about the Dead Sea. As you probably recall, the Dead Sea is really a Lake, not a sea (and as my Geography teacher pointed out, if you understood that, it would guarantee 4 marks in the term paper!) It’s so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. You 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.

And 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 and 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. And 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 lots 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 while one sea is full of life, the other is dead. How come?

Here’s apparently 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 then out - and that keeps the sea healthy and vibrant, teeming with marine life.

But the Dead Sea is so far below the mean 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. It is estimated that over 7 million tons of water evaporate 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.

Result? No life at all.

Think about it.

Life is not just about getting. Its about giving. 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 and 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 everything the results can be disastrous.

Good idea to make sure that in the sea of your own life, you have outlets. Many outlets. For love and wealth - and everything else that you get in your life. Make sure you don't just get, you give too.

Open the taps. And you'll open the floodgates to happiness. Make that a habit. To share. To give.

And experience life. Experience the magic!

Warm regards,

Rohan Singal