With everything that is going on in the world...global pandemic, killer bees, racial injustice and violence, poverty, abuse, neglect, human trafficking, war, and global warming... to name a few...how am I going to make a difference?
Where do I even start...and will it really matter?
I was having this conversation with my sister, Pam and she reminded me about the starfish. You know that story about the child throwing starfish stranded on the beach back into the ocean so they survive.
For anyone unfamiliar, the story (adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley), goes like this:
One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”
The boy 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.” The man laughed to himself and said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference to that one.”
Super cute story that illustrates how we have to start small. I think if we stay focused on what we can do, we can make a positive difference.
Last week my neighbor, Poppy, turned 91 years young, and my grand puppy, Chappie who turned one year old on the very same day. 90 years a part, they share one thing in common. They both thrive when I show up, fully present.
Neither man nor beast cares about what I look like, what I do for a living, or my idealogical beliefs. What they care about is what happens in the moment. Because the moment is all we have together and I can control the quality of those moments.
I am acutely aware that I have the ability and power to make Poppy smile or Chappie wag his tail. I have the power to make a difference in every interaction I have. I consciously clear my mind when I interact with Poppy or Chappie and make them my sole focus of the interaction.
I would love to be able to make a difference in the things that plague our world today, and I am starting with my neighbor and my grand puppy.
Maybe I change too and become a better person. If I am a better person, then maybe those around me become better people. It's possible the ripple effect results in world peace. Who knows? It could happen.
What I have learned is that making a difference starts with me and in small acts, like throwing starfish back into the ocean one at a time or spending quality time with those we care about.
Happy to make a difference by offering coaching: https://www.silverliningsinternational.org/book-online