Let’s all be that Starfish Guy

It’s a wonderful life’ – have you seen that movie? If you haven’t, I highly recommend you watch it.

It’s about a man who has always given up his own dreams in order to help others, and when he is at his lowest ebb he is shown how he has inadvertently touched so many peoples lives and made a big difference in his community and how things would have been so different if he had never been born.

It reminds us that although you may not think you have made a difference in this world, you may be surprised how the little things you have done have made a huge difference to something or somebody.

The Starfish Story

This story by Loren Eiseley is a perfect reminder how doing something that seems so small could make a big difference.

“Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man laughed, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are millions of starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,  “It made a difference for that one.”

 

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