I am sure most of you would have read the “The Star Thrower” story by Loren Eiseley (Link)
Here it is again…
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to
do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began
his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down
the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to
himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so,
he walked faster to catch up.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man,
and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was
reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them
into the ocean.
He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is
that you are doing?” The young man paused, looked up, and replied
“Throwing starfish into the ocean.” “I must ask, then, why are you
throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise
man. To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is
going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not
realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish
all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!” At this,
the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it
into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “It made a difference for
When there is an opportunity to make a small difference, we might not take that up for variety of reasons. Some of them are:
* You think the other person may not need help.
* You think the job is so small that anybody can do it.
* Yes, you think it won’t make a big enough difference.
* You think nobody will care whether you do it or not do it.
Next time, when you find yourself in that situation think about the
starfish story and make it a point to make a difference, however small
- Ways to distinguish yourself – #7 Celebrate small victories
- Ways to distinguish yourself #131 – Know your rules for small things
- Ways to distinguish yourself – #8 Set higher standards
- Ways to distingish yourself – #43 Show discipline on small things
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