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.