Volume 9 - Issue 02
February 2011
Other Articles



"A joy shared is a joy doubled”.
- Goethe, the famous German writer


There is a beautiful tale concerning two seas. In the Mediterranean basin is located the famous Dead Sea. Every school kid knows that the only water body which in reality is not a sea but ironically called so is the Dead Sea; it is actually a lake. That explains the ‘sea’ part of ‘Dead Sea’. But why is it Dead Sea? Or the Killer Sea? Because there is absolutely no life in it even though it is 67 kms long, 18 kms wide at its widest point, and 1237 feet deep. It is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth; almost 9 times saltier than normal ocean water. It is this high density of salt which never allows even the slightest hint of marine flora or fauna to survive and flourish. But why is this lake so salty? Quite simple. It never flows out. It receives water from River Jordan but keeps it all to itself. It is so below the mean sea level that there is no outlet. Some amount of water of course gets evaporated leaving the salts behind, and in the process creates the dead, most uninhabitable environment. 

To the North of this Dead Sea is the Sea of Galilee. And it is only 13 miles by 8 miles; pretty small in comparison, but do you know its treasures? It is rich with most exotic flora and fauna. They say it is home to at least 20 different types of fish. In fact this sea has supported the lives of many for over two millennia because of the flourishing fisheries in this region and the good harvest of crops in the lands surrounding its waters. Now, why is this sea, though very tiny compared to the huge Dead Sea, so alive? A simple secret: it shares its waters. The same River Jordan flows into this sea too but the Sea of Galilee allows its waters to flow out. And this is precisely what makes it so healthy, vibrant and brimming with life.

When we share, we become rich! Many who have understood this math have enriched their lives superbly. And history is replete with such examples. Even in the recent times, if we just look around there are so many such ‘seas of Galilee’. A popular news portal other day shared the story of Mr. Kal Raman. Born into a lower middle class family in a small village of Tamil Nadu, Kal Raman lost his father when he was just 15 and from then on life for him became a horrifying struggle. He studied under streetlights and on one occasion his mother had to sell even all the plates of their house to buy rice for him and his siblings. She served the food onto their hands. From this pitiable condition, thanks to the generous help of a few good souls and his hard work, Kal completed his graduation in Electrical Engineering and Electronics and found a job in Tata Consulting Engineers, and then in Tata Consultancy Services. With time, he went to US, worked in Wal-Mart and in 2001 at the age of 30 became the CEO of an online pharmacy firm.

In 2007 he was picked up by philanthropist Mike Milken (who had donated more than a billion dollars to education) to start an organization that would work towards making high quality education accessible to ordinary people. And that is how Mr. Kal Raman today is the founder-CEO of GlobalScholar, a company with a turnover of over $US1 billion. But the best part is Mr. Kal Raman never forgot his roots. Recently he spent Rs. 15 million and renovated the old temple of his village. Besides this, he has also adopted all the orphanages around his village and takes care of around 2000 kids, some of whom are physically handicapped.

Ask Mr. Kal Raman why he is doing all this and he says, “I feel if I can educate these children, eventually we can make a difference in society. We also help 100 children in their higher education. Around my village, everyone knows that if a kid who studies well cannot afford to pay fees, he has to only come to my house; his education will be taken care of.”


He continues, "I do not do this as charity; it’s my responsibility. I am giving something back to the society that fed me, taught me, took care of me and gave me hopes."

Another sterling example is Mr. Narayanan Krishnan, who is indeed a blessing to those who have never been shown love and care in their lives. An award-winning chef with Taj Hotels Narayanan was picked up for a plum job in a five star hotel in Switzerland. But before he flew to Europe, on his way to his hometown he was a witness to a scene which shattered his heart.

"I saw a very old man, out of hunger literally eating his own human waste. I went to the nearby hotel and asked them what was available. They had idli, which I bought and gave to the old man. Believe me, I had never seen a person eating so fast, ever. As he ate the food, his eyes were filled with tears. Those were the tears of happiness,” he recounted.


That moment changed his life forever. From then on, every morning Narayanan wakes up at 4 a.m., cooks a simple hot meal and then along with his team, loads it in a van and travels about 200 kms feeding the homeless and mentally-disabled in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He even trained himself in eight haircut styles so that he could trim the hair, give a shave, cut the nails, and thereby provide some dignity to those who as far as society is concerned do not exist. Inspired by his tenacity to serve, with time many joined hands with him, and thus was formed the non-profit Akshaya Trust in 2003. Has Narayanan lost anything by letting go that elite job? What is happily shared strangely multiplies. "I am feeling so comfortable and so happy…I have a passion, I enjoy my work. I want to live with my people," he says. He is truly one of the happiest men on earth today. Just the previous year, out of 10000 nominations from more than 100 countries, he was selected as one of the Top 10 in “CNN Heroes 2010” list.

The wise know that life is not just about getting. It’s about giving. If we want to be cheerful and add lively colours to our lives, we need to be a bit like the Sea of Galilee. If we are fortunate to be blessed with either wealth, knowledge, love, respect or any other gift from God, and we don’t learn to give, we could end up like the Dead Sea – all the love, respect, knowledge, wealth, etc, could evaporate. On the other hand, however small we may be and no matter how tiny is our contribution, if we always sincerely strive to share, then we could celebrate our existence every moment just like the Sea of Galilee. And the biggest plus point, God who is ever eager to hold our hands will be smiling from above and our faces will reflect His love, His shine and His grace.

Dear Reader, did this article inspire you in any way? Do you have a similar story to share? Please tell us your reflections about this article by writing to h2h@radiosai.org mentioning your name and country. Thank you for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team

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