What Makes A Difference

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What You Do or Don’t Do Makes A Difference?

Have you ever wondering sometimes if anything you do or say makes a difference? I know I have.  When cleaning out some things at home, I came across the Star Fish story. It is one of my favorites. It is so relevant to so many people who sometimes wonder if what they do makes any difference to anyone.  It can apply to many things whether in our personal life or work life. There is much that we do that might not make a difference to most of the masses, but our efforts are appreciated to those few we may touch along our life journey.

The Star Fish

Based on the story by Loren Eisley…

 

I awoke early, as I often did, just before sunrise to walk by the ocean’s edge and greet the new day. As I moved through the misty dawn, I focused on a faint, far away motion. I saw a youth, bending and reaching and flailing arms, dancing on the beach, not doubt in celebration of the perfect day soon to begin.

 

As I approached, I sadly realized that the youth was not dancing to the day, but rather bending to sift through the debris left by the night’s tide, stopping now and then to pick up starfish and then standing, to heave it back into the sea.

 

I asked the youth the purpose of the effort. “The tide has washed the starfish onto the beach and they cannot return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun rises, they will die, unless I throw them back to the sea.”

 

As the youth explained, I surveyed the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions beyond my sight. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the youth’s plan became clear to me and I countered, “But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference.”

 

The youth paused briefly to consider my words, bend to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. Turning to me he simply said, “I made a difference to that one.”

 

I left the boy and went home, deep in thought of what the boy had said. I returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping the boy throw starfish in to the sea.

starfishWe may not know the impact on someone’s life because we shared a smile, a kind word or a prayer for them they don’t even know about. When you think about it the meaning of this starfish story, I bet most of you likely thought of some way it applies to your life in some way or another. You might see it in light of the one who made the difference or the one benefiting from another’s act. Most likely, both. That’s what it is all about, right?

Please share if you can relate and let me know how this so relates to your life…


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