Share it & Double it

csaibaba's picture

Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room's only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.

nathan's picture

Another epilogue: you can count only on your personal experience

I think the important conclusion from this beautiful tale is that you can only count on your direct personal experience. To remember at all times the undeniable fact that what others say, true and beautiful and promising as it may sound, dignified as some of these others may be, is only a theory from the the only perspective you have, your perspective.

nathan | Tue, 02/10/2009 - 22:17
Phroggy's picture


What in the world makes you think you can count on your own experience? Your experience is that you're a separate person in an objective world of persons. You were born as others were and you will die as others have. Are you sure all of that's true?

Phroggy | Tue, 02/10/2009 - 23:38
Omkaradatta's picture

Actually, no...

"Your experience is that you're a separate person in an objective world of persons. You were born as others were and you will die as others have."

Actually, no. None of that is our own experience. ***That is what we are told***.

Nobody has ever experienced being a separate person in an objective world of persons. We merely try to be so, thus generating our suffering.

Omkaradatta | Wed, 02/11/2009 - 07:44
zoya's picture

You have no choice

You have no choice - it is either your logic, others' experiences or your experience.

The first is proved not to be valid, the second you cannot know its validity - you are left with the third which can be sometimes invalid but still is more valid than the others.

I recommend you to read

zoya | Wed, 02/11/2009 - 14:02
Omkaradatta's picture


People generally operate neither by logic, nor by pure experience. Rather they go on "emotional thinking" (desires and fears) which drives them to and fro, seeking something, but they know not what. Generally just seeking to be somewhere and something other than what they are now.

Omkaradatta | Wed, 02/11/2009 - 14:33
Phroggy's picture


I can't argue with the fact that there is no choice, but there is a different way of perceiving that is not experiential or the result of thinking. What is sometimes called intuition or direct perception or may be referred to as Gnosis, is not an experience stored in the mind or the result of logic or reason, but rather a timeless realization.

This has been talked about many times, so I'm inclined to be blunt. If one is relying on experiences to provide their spiritual understanding, they're wasting their time and accomplishing nothing at all. Even when something is 'accomplished' it takes the form of dissilution of ignorance, and while experience of futility or suffering can aid in this dissilution, ultimately the ignorance must be seen clearly for what it is, and this can never be a conclusion or an experience. It must be seen directly. You are not a mind that thinks or a vehicle of perception which is why thinking and experiencing isn't going to help. You are Awareness. You must become aware.

Phroggy | Thu, 02/12/2009 - 03:10
Omkaradatta's picture

Well said...

"Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled."

Well said. This is why attending to our own happiness is NOT selfish. To cling to our suffering is selfish.

To suffer along with others is selfish, for we are seeking only to reduce our own suffering (by grouping with other miserable people). We *must* let go of the need to look at the world and say "how can I be happy when the world is so miserable?" The answer is to be happy, and spread your happiness to the world!

Omkaradatta | Wed, 02/11/2009 - 07:41
Psiplex's picture

Giving and Receiving

Well written. Lesson learned! Thank you for sharing!

One Love

Psiplex | Fri, 02/13/2009 - 17:39