We hear it being said often that people want to, “make a difference”. What does that actually mean? When we think of making a difference, we tend to measure it on a grand scale. We focus on making an impact to the lives of many. We don’t need to over complicate what making a difference looks like. Often, it is the power of a simple gesture.
This post is inspired by a Loren Eiseley story, “The Star Thrower”. It sends a message of what Making a Difference is about:
The Star Thrower
A man was walking on the beach one day and noticed a boy who was reaching down, picking up a starfish and throwing it in the ocean. As he approached, he called out, “Hello! What are you doing?” The boy looked up and said, “I’m throwing starfish into the ocean”. “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the man. “The tide stranded them. If I don’t throw them in the water before the sun comes up, they’ll die” came the answer. “Surely you realize that there are miles of beach, and thousands of starfish. You’ll never throw them all back, there are too many. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy listened politely, then picked up another starfish. As he threw it back into the sea, he said, “It made a difference for that one.”
What the boy understood is that it wasn’t about making a difference to all the thousands of starfish that laid on the beach. He did what he could to make a difference even to one. It wasn’t about throwing them all back into the ocean, it was about doing what he could in that moment.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~Mother Teresa
Sometimes, we tell ourselves that once we are rich, we will be able to donate to a cause. Once we get that promotion, we will be able to spend more time with our family. We all have the power to make a positive difference today, even in a small way. Often, it is the little ripples over time that makes the biggest impact. A warm gesture to a stranger or some quality time with your kid can be imprinted in their memory forever.
[tweetthis]Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. -William James[/tweetthis]
This week’s #5MinMotivation is about the challenge of Making a Difference. What will be your starfish today? This week?
Our lives can get pretty hectic and it can be easy to get lost in our actions. When we are so focused on what is ahead, we forget to pause, reflect and find ways to energize our minds. These 5-minute motivation posts are meant to give you that recharge. The goal is to give you a 5-minute Vitamin for your mind through quotes, posts and videos. It is also meant to challenge your thinking and inspire you to take action.
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