The Boy and the Starfish

This is a beautiful parable about how little things make a big difference.

Once upon a time, a man was walking on the beach after a big storm.  The storm had covered the shore with washed up starfish.  The man noticed a young boy picking up some of the starfish and throwing them back into the sea.

He asked the boy why he was throwing the starfish into the sea.

The boy replied, “The tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll dry up and die.”

The man smiled patronizingly and said, “But, there are miles of beach and thousands of starfish on every mile. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The boy smiled, bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the sea.

“Well,” he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

Making a Difference

See, most of us view making a difference as some grand abstract philosophical thought, or we think about massive social issues like curing cancer, or world hunger, and we just get overwhelmed and therefore think we can’t possibly make a difference.

Positive change actually occurs every day by the people we touch and the relationships we have. 

It’s difficult to measure our impact on this world.  We may never know how many people we have influenced by simply smiling when they needed to see a smile, hugging a friend at just the right time, or by being empathetic when someone makes a mistake.

It’s all the little things that we do that make a huge difference in this world.  You may not be able to change the entire world, but you can change a small part of it, for someone.

If you were to honestly assess your life, do your actions, not your intentions, but your actions, relate more towards the boy or the man walking?

Do you view positive change as hopeless, or do you take personal responsibility to make a difference in any way possible?

Change doesn’t need to be huge.  You make a difference in this world just by smiling more.  You make a difference by bringing your best to this world one day and one relationship at a time.

Positivity just like negativity is contagious.  Your positivity is not trivial.  By being a positive person, you are not only changing your world, but also impacting the world around you for the better.

Remember, you are making a difference in this world whether you intend to or not.  Be a force for positive change by impacting as many people as you can through positive behavior.

Make it an awesome day,

Kevin Slagle

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