De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Of Dead Seas And Dead Valleys

Most people have probably heard about the difference between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. In short, both are fed by pretty much the same source. Rain falls in the mountains and runs off down into the Sea of Galilee, washing along vital nutrients. From the Sea of Galilee, the River Jordan runs down into the Dead Sea, bringing those same life-giving nutrients.

So why is the Sea of Galilee teeming with life and the Dead Sea devoid of life? Both receive the same nutrients and roughly the same amount of water. The difference is that the Sea of Galilee doesn't retain what it gets. Those nutrients are cycle thru the various flora and fauna of the lake and then passed on down the River Jordan to the Dead Sea.

By contrast, the Dead Sea retains all of what it receives, except for the water that evaporates. As a result, there is no life in it. Those same life-giving nutrients, when held at such a high concentration, become toxic.

And so it is with people. This is one of the reasons I really don't care to be rich. I find that wealth tends to distort a person's perspective. Rich people live in a surreal world where everyone would have enough if only….. something. There always seems to be "something" that poor people are doing or not doing that causes them to be poor. Although it is true that a lot of people are poor because of bad life choices they've made, a lot of people would be much better off if only the playing field were more level. What distinguishes me from the liberals and socialists is that I want the government to level the playing field and not redistribute wealth.

An interesting contrast to the Sea of Galilee is Death Valley. Ages ago, Death Valley was actually a lake. However, geologic upheavals over time caused the lake to be drained of all its water. The life-giving nutrients that had sustained the indigenous flora and fauna remained, but there was no water, which is every bit as necessary to life. Today, Death Valley receives less than an inch of rain a year and is devoid of life.

Some people are like that. They send out all they have and almost never get anything back. After a while, they're drained and there's nothing left. I sometimes think of the pioneers who made the trek west and opened up the rest of the continent for "civilization", particularly the Mormons who were driven out of their homes under threat of death and tried to make the trek west to Utah. Some of them gave it all they had, but it wasn't enough. Somewhere along the way, they sat down by the side of the road, unable to go on. And that's where they were buried. Most of us would consider that tragic, and in a way I think that it is. But they had given it all they had, and that can't be a bad thing.

One of the great challenges in life is to be a Sea of Galilee and not a Dead Sea or a Death Valley.


At 17:57, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

Nice work, thank you.


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