Most of us are genuinely caring and compassionate human beings and when we see wrongs that need to be righted, we sincerely wish to make a difference in the world. All too often, however, we are lulled into inaction by the belief that our small contribution will not make a difference. The thing is that each of us holds the power to create great change, both when our acts are compounded with others, as well as when we act individually to do our small part. More importantly, like with the starfish in this little story, even if our individual acts help only one person, you’ve made an invaluable difference in the life of the one. It is up to each of us to fight complacency and to follow our hearts in affecting the change that we wish to see in the world.
The Starfish Story
An old man was walking on the beach one morning after a storm. In the distance, he could see someone moving like a dancer. As he came closer, he saw that it was a young woman picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean. “Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
“The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die,” she said. “But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles of beach and thousands of starfish? You cannot possibly make a difference.”
The young woman listened politely, then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea. It made a difference for that one.”
~ Adapted from the original by Lorn Eiseley
All Will Be Well, ~ Julian of Norwich