In recent years there have been many studies that support the idea that developing compassion and altruism has a positive impact on our physical and emotional health. In one well-known experiment, for example, David McClelland, a psychologist at Harvard University, showed a group of students a film of Mother Teresa working among Calcutta‟s sick and poor. The students reported that the film stimulated feelings of compassion. Afterward, he analyzed the student‟s saliva and found an increase in immunoglobulin-A, an antibody that can help fight respiratory infections. In another study done by James House at the University of Michigan Research Center, investigators found that doing regular volunteer work, interacting with others in a warm and compassionate way, dramatically increased life expectancy, and probably overall vitality as well. Many other researchers in the new field of mind-body medicine have demonstrated similar findings, documenting that positive states of mind can improve our physical health. In addition to the beneficial effects on one‟s physical health, there is evidence that compassion and caring behaviour contributes to good emotional health. Studies have shown that reaching out to help others can induce a feeling of happiness, a calmer mind, and less depression.
b) As giant waves swamped their boat and tossed it around, the six fishermen realized this was no ordinary storm. It was 2 pm. Naresh, 45, and Prakash 31, scrambled to retrieve their fishing nets---each worth about Rs. 20,000/- and vital to their livelihood- while three others, Kedar, Ganesh and Eknath, all in their twenties, and 59-year-old Pandurang, frantically bailed out the rising water using cooking vessels. The 9x3-metre boat Sai-Darbar groaned, threatening to tip over. Prakash ran to the rudder, his sinewy arms strained to keep the tiller--the rudder‟s control--steady. “I can‟t handle this alone,” he screamed. Naresh joined hands with Prakash. The boat needed to remain diagonal to the waves to keep it from capsizing. The waves continued to lash the boat. After an excruciating hour, they could see Arnala‟s boating channel, marked on either side by rocks, just 500 meters away. They let out hoarse cheers. Almost home! Just then a huge seven-metre wave crashed into them. They screamed as the boat was half-submerged. Kedar, Ganesh and Eknath, who were sitting in the boat‟s rear, were flung over board.