Be the Soulful You!

A voyaging ship capsized during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert like island.

The two survivors who had been good friends, not knowing what else to-do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.

The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit.

The other man's parcel of land remained barren.

After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing. Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.

Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island.

He considered the other man unworthy to receive God's blessings, since none of his prayers had been answered.

As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, “Why are you leaving your companion on the island?”

“My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one who prayed for them, "the first man answered. “His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything.”

“You are mistaken!” the voice rebuked him. “He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings. "Tell me,” the first man asked the voice, “What did he pray for that I should owe him anything?”

“He prayed that all your prayers be answered.”

In this day and age, will we find the second man? Will we find someone who prays for the other person before himself?

As a Child, I  used to be that innocent and loving. I would often find myself praying for my sister for whom I cared a lot. I would pray that she must never be hurt, she must find all that she seeks. I would be praying for my parents and their health. But to wish that for a complete stranger requires some kind of a heart. I am sure we have all found ourselves praying for someone but never at the cost of our own selves.

Does this kind of a heart, this selfless human, make sense in this day and age?

I am sure if I asked this to a class full of students, they would perhaps nod in disagreement. It doesn’t make sense. They would relate completely to the first man, the man who looked out for himself and made the right requests to God. Such is the plight of an average man! Look out for oneself in this dog eat dog world is our mantra.

What does it take to be this second man, the man with a heart so filled with love and so eager to give, so selfless? This is someone who can see beyond himself, which is only possible when your eyes are set on something bigger, something more magnanimous and more powerful than yourself. When your heart is set on God! When one is focused not on survival but the higher purpose of life. When you don’t see living or living well as the goal of your life but serving and lessening the pain of humanity as your goal because you understand the transitory nature of this existence.

Suddenly the first man must have felt so small, and this is how we are likely to feel on the judgment day when we encounter beings of love and sacrifice. We have made selflessness and sacrifice very undesirable words today, but they lay the foundation for human fulfilment in its true sense.

Open up your heart. Do not operate from fear, scarcity, insecurity greed or selfishness, connect to that part of you which is loving, giving, forgiving, generous and selfless. Although it seems illogical to the mean mind; it is the only perfectly logical solution to end the suffering of the world and make it a peaceful and happier haven for all. Be Soulful not Mind full !!