I told this popular story many times, I used this story especially whenever I was invited to do a presentation in hospitals or community clinics to improve patient care and I encountered the real life objections that staff run into on a daily basis, objections such as red tape, policies, budgets and short cuts, etc.
It is always a difficult task to help everyone, as it is in life. We find ourselves impotent to save all the starving people of the world, or rescue all the abused, neglected, suffering, or dying animals. We find ourselves powerless to improve the conditions of our environment, or to have an effect on our socioeconomic challenges.
The problems seem to be too big for one ordinary person to make a real difference in the world and yet, the same way we approach any insurmountable problem, we always begin with a step. Any action, no matter how small, can make a huge difference to one person, or one animal, or to your small corner of the universe. Without knowing, you may be an example or a role model to another person, you could be inspiring someone else who can do a little more, and before you know it , it could become a trend, it could go “viral” and become infectious. Throughout history we had so many ordinary people that managed to do extraordinary things. Selfless men and women of all times in different fields have left the world a better place. No matter how small you think it is, you can make a difference!
THE STAR FISH STORY:
A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore.
Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.
“Why are you throwing the starfish into the
ocean?,” he asks.
“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out
and if I don’t throw them further in they will
“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles
and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even
save one tenth of them. In fact, even if you
work all day, your efforts won’t make any
difference at all.”
The old man listened calmly and then bent down to
pick up another starfish and threw it
into the sea.
“It made a difference to that one.”
The Star Thrower (From Wikipedia) “The Star Thrower” (or “starfish story”) is part of a 16-page essay of the same name by Loren Eiseley (1907–1977), published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe. The Star Thrower is also the title of a 1978 anthology of Eiseley’s works (including the essay), which he completed shortly before his death.
Wikipedia. 2015. The star fish thrower. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star_Thrower. [Accessed 16 June 2016].
Quotes by mother Teresa
- “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
- “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
- “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
- “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
- “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”
- “Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
Let us become star fish throwers making the difference one little star fish at a time.