Make a Difference Monday: The Starfish Story

Some days, trying to make a difference is hard.  It can feel like our small efforts to change our little corner of the world get lost in a sea of challenges, politics and paperwork.  Whether you are on the front lines or behind the desk, it can be overwhelming when your best efforts feel wasted.  Being a change-maker is hard, it's never-ending, and the waves of oppression can be relentless.  So WHY do we do this?
I can't remember the first time I head this story, but it stirs something deep inside each time I read it.  I hope it provides you the encouragement your need to keep being the change that the world needs!  Happy "Make a Difference Monday!"
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 commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are 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.”

"The Starfish Thrower" by Loren Eisely

Holly Godfrey
Holly Godfrey


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