Recently someone reminded me of the starfish story. Here’s one version:
A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.
“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asks.
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out, and if I don’t throw them further in, they will die.”
“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all. You can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”
I love this story because it illustrates my belief that we are all here on this planet to make a difference in the lives of others. Every day every one of us has a chance to smile at a stranger, to offer a helping hand, to share some of our blessings with those who are less fortunate.
Since the season of giving is now upon us, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how we can make this world a better place through simple acts of kindness. Every time we brighten up another person’s day, we elevate the entire human race just a little bit. If everyone contributes to creating a more loving, peaceful world—even in small ways—imagine how the ripple effect can spread and grow.
Take a moment to jot down ways you can help others and share the list with your family and friends. Start a conversation during holiday gatherings and put your ideas into action this month and every month in the coming year. The best part is when we lift others up, we lift ourselves up, too, and we all can use a boost, right?
We can create change for the better. It doesn’t take much: just a desire to do good, be good, and spread goodness. Start now.
Wishing you and yours good things this holiday season and as the new year dawns.