Have you heard the Starfish story? It goes like this:
An elderly man was walking along the beach with his grandson. There was a big storm the night before and the vast beach was littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. The little boy started picking up the starfishes and tossing them gently into the sea. The grandfather asked the kid what he was doing.
The young boy 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 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 boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
Most of the times we choose to live in a blissful ignorance of what is happening around us. We shirk our responsibility towards our society thinking what difference an individual is going to make. But every conscious choice; every act of benevolence, does make a difference.
Mother Teresa began ‘Missionaries of Charity’ as a small order with only thirteen members in Calcutta. She had no income and had to ask for food and supplies. By 1997, her organisation had grown to more than 4,000 sisters running orphanages and charity centres worldwide, and caring for refugees, the blind, disabled, aged, alcoholics, the poor and homeless, and victims of floods, epidemics, and famine. Her individual efforts with a single-minded focus of tending to the needs of the destitute and the poor eventually made a difference to millions of lives worldwide.
My master H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar started working alone towards realizing his vision of a stress-free, violence-free society. Thirty years later, he has made a difference to millions of people the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living. As a spiritual teacher, Sri Sri has rekindled the traditions of yoga and meditation and offered them in a form that is relevant to the 21st century. His programs have raised the quality of life for participants in 152 countries.
Often we make the mistake of believing that our efforts are going to be futile and we don’t have what it takes to make this world a better place. But the truth is that each one of us can make a difference to this world in our own unique way.
If you think that your contribution is not going to make much of a difference, then you’re wrong. Can you imagine how it would be if everyone else starts to think the same way? Remember, big or small but every contribution does make a difference!
Start doing whatever is within your ability today. Start showing more concern and love to the people around you. Start doing the random acts of kindness.Start to make monthly donations to your favourite charity. Start putting more effort in everything you do.
Every effort counts, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Just do something, and do something good. Make a difference to your life and to those around you. Being a man or a woman who makes a difference is just a matter of choice!
© 2017 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved