The world is in a precarious state. This is a pressing concern for each of us regardless of our age, race, nationality, gender, religion, or political views. The problems that exist in the world and in our own communities are highly complex. They seem overwhelming and impossible to fix. We each wish we could change things, but feeling powerless ask ourselves, “What can one person do to change the world?”
The following story gives us food for thought:
The Starfish Story
Adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)
A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean. As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water. The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,” I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. “But”, said the man, “You can’t possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one.”
You too can make a difference one starfish at a time.