The Starfish Story

The Starfish Story Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said “I made a difference for that one.

The first time that I heard this story, I broke down – my heart and soul touched deeply. While searching for the meaning of my own life, it has always been my goal to live right, leave a legacy, and touch lives in a positive manner.

I take a couple of important lessons from The Starfish Story. First, every person can and does make a difference in the lives of others. And you can determine whether you make a positive difference or a negative difference. Do you praise and lift people up? Do you criticize and insult? I believe that we need to watch what we say – quick to listen and slow to speak. I am guilty of saying the wrong thing from time to time. I am aware of this and it is something that I am working on and praying about.

The second lesson is that YOU matter. I matter, you matter – we each matter!! Some people travel the world and influence millions of lives. Some of us touch the lives of a few people in our community, truly touching them. It often feels like it doesn’t mean anything, but it sure matters to those we have encouraged, inspired, and loved. We often fail to express our appreciation – our lives hectic and busy. But when our minds slow and our hearts search, we think about those people we’ve encountered throughout the day and we reflect. “Why did the gas station attendant have to be so rude?” “It sure was sweet of her to offer to bring me breakfast today.”

The third lesson is simply to remember that I have made a difference in people’s lives and I will continue to do so. It may not be on a grand level, but it is important to those whom I have influenced. I may feel like a failure, but they may see me as a powerful and positive energy. Does The Starfish Story resonate for you? I hope it reminds you that YOU MATTER.

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Cynic or Realist?

I’m cynical. Or am I? I prefer to think that I am a realist and that the world around us is truly too depressing. We like to think the best of everyone and everything…until we know better or are proven wrong. I have met my fair share of people with good hearts. Sincere. Genuine. Thoughtful. Gracious. But I have been exposed to far more with darkened hearts. Selfish. Hateful. Angry. Ungrateful. Rude.

I realize that not everything in life with go my way (what does go my way???). I realize that not everyone I meet with agree with me. But I do expect respect – unless I’ve given someone good reason not to respect me (which is unlikely and in any case would be unintentional due to my general nature and character). I also realize that few people are interested in me, what I do, what I studied, what I believe in, what my opinions are, etc. That’s life. I realize that a physician is unlikely to listen to my marketing scheme. I realize that most individuals will be jarred by my sarcasm and that some will be offended – until they understand my sense of humor. I realize that few individuals will understand and fully comprehend the words that come out of my mouth. I understand that 9 times out of 10 I will be frustrated by the outcome of a task I have delegated to another individual.

I have come to know that if it makes sense, it will not happen. I understand that there is no such thing as common sense. I also understand that there is no such thing as free will and that we are all products of our environments – as are the choices that we make. I often lean toward mediocrity  because excellence requires and individual to do more work in less time  for the same compensation.

Beginning to think that maybe I AM cynical, I looked up the definition.

cynical

  1. Believing that people are motivated by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity.
  2. Doubtful as to whether something will happen or is worthwhile.

I am definitely a realist – a realism that was shaped by my environment and experiences. What do you think about the topic. Is there a significant difference between cynicism and realism? What is the difference?

False Evidence Appearing Real

Why is it so difficult to find the courage to start a blog? To open up and become VULNERABLE to the world – literally? Because it’s scary. But what is fear? Is it mind reading – assuming others will think one thing or another and that it is more than likely negative. Is is all or nothing thinking, assuming that I won’t be good at it and will therefore me absolutely terrible! I was once told that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Let’s think about this. There are 2 innate fears (some will argue this) – fear of falling and fear of loud noises. All other fears manifest out of our experiences and environment.

As a child, I developed a fear of spiders after watching the movie Arachnophobia and having my older brother place all of this rubber spiders all over my dolls when I was out of my room. I have since outgrown this fear….however now that I have moved to Texas and might encounter a scorpion…a little different than the daddy-long-legs back in Wisconsin.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

Tonight I am thinking about what it is I fear. Fear of failure. Fear of never being good enough – for myself. Fear of heights. Fear of losing my mobility and ability to maintain my current level of fitness and physical activity because of my chronic and worsening ailments. I am sure there are more….that stem from insecurities that come and go. But what I ask myself is do I live in fear? No. I don’t let my physical challenges confine me to the couch – I tackle them and more often than not I succeed. I try to avoid heights without guard rails or safety precautions, but I call that smart. And that overbearing fear of failure….I am constantly reaching, stretching, learning, taking risks…attempting to grow and encouraging others to grow. I believe that my fear of failure has diminished to a healthy level. It is enough to keep me motivated, driven, and ambitious. But it is not so overwhelming that it leaves me depressed, lethargic, and unmotivated.

So I ask. What do you fear? Is it rational? Is it legitimate? Is it healthy? Is it even worthy of being real? If not, it may be time to conquer that fear, little by little, step by step, have the courage to reclaim the power the fear has claimed in your life. The first step, ask yourself the following  questions:

1) What’s the likelihood that this thing that I’m afraid of is actually happening?

2) What’s the worst that’s going to happen?

3) How would I cope with that?

Yours in Health & Love,

B Rose