We all have the power to change somebody’s life. Every day you can make the choice between beeing good to people and taking a step towards a better world. This story has been a great inspiration to me as to why what I do matters. I may not save the world, but I will not contribute to its destruction and I will not stand still looking at it being torn down.
The Starfish Story
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a young woman approaching. As she walked, she paused every so often and as she grew closer, the man could see that she was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The woman came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young woman paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The woman bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)