The Dead Sea is really a Lake, not a sea. It’s so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. We 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.
The Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea. Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea receive their water from the 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 20 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 and 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. When there is no outflow the water stinks and becomes toxic.
Life is not just about getting. It’s about giving. We all need to be 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. We should not be so low like the Dead Sea and not have any outlet at all. The love and the respect, the wealth and the knowledge could all evaporate. Like the water in the Dead Sea.
It is not enough that we know how to earn wealth. We should also know how to spend it wisely. If wealth is accumulated and hoarded without spending it wisely, it is likely to poison and corrupt the next generation. When something comes to new generation very easily and not earned through hard work, they are more likely to squander it away on vices and destroy their lives.
If we get the Dead Sea mentality of merely taking in more and more — more money, more of everything — the result can be disastrous.
“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.” — George Carlin
Which would you rather have: a fortune or a capacity for enjoyment?
Have, but do not possess nor be possessed. Enjoy the world without being enslaved by it. Enjoy everything as it comes and let it go as it goes. Love everything, but don’t need anything.
It is only when the rich suffer from some terminal disease that they fully realize the impotence of wealth.
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 share them too. This will inculcate good values in the new generation.
Open the taps and you’ll open the floodgates to happiness.
Make that a habit, to share, to give and experience a vibrant, dynamic life.
“When the wealth in the house increases, when water fills a boat, throw them out with both hands quickly to avert disaster!”