I was talking with a friend last night about some of the recent tragedies going on in our world. She said it just seems so overwhelming and that she is just one person – how can she change anything? I asked her if she had ever heard the story of the little boy and the starfish. She said no. So I told her. Now I’ll tell you.
The Starfish Story
Original story by: Loren Eisley
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”
Sometimes life can be so overwhelming- we think our actions with one person don’t make a difference. But they can – for that person. The most positive thing you can do is start! Start with that one person. Don’t give up because you think you can’t impact anyone or everyone – so why try.
Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Gandhi and so many ordinary and everyday people started by focusing on helping just one person at a time. Their work spread because more and more people started to help too! One at a time.
I have talked to several people in my life who had been contemplating suicide and self-harm. I talked to them about the value of waiting one more day because life is worth it. I have helped people see that there is great value in finding someone who can help them before they commit to making that life altering decision. I know that those conversations mattered – to me and to that person.
You CAN make a Difference in the lives of others. You don’t have to be the person who saves the whole world! Be the person who helps make their world better, happier, more loving, kind, courteous, forgiving and positive.