Ways to distinguish yourself – #118 Make a difference, however small it is…

Ways to distinguish yourself – #118 Make a difference, however small it is…

By Rajesh Setty on Thu 30 Mar 2006, 9:23 PM – 2 Comments

I am sure most of  you would have read the “The Star Thrower” story by Loren Eiseley (Link)

Here it is again…

The Starfish Story

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

that one.”

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

it is…


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2 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on March 31st, 2006

Mr. Setty, I truly enjoy reading our nuggets of wisdom. I am personally learning a lot everyday and yes, you are making a difference in my life through your writing.

The other day, I was listening to your ‘Beyong Code’ interview with Leslie Jaye. What struck me was the cool, calm and composed manner in which you answered questions. If I were to vote on your next ‘Ways to Distinguish Yourself’ series, it would be ‘Stay Cool, Calm and Composed whatever be the situation’.

Cheers, Wandering Indian Monk

Anonymous  on March 31st, 2006

That’s very kind of you to say that. Thank you. Have a great weekend.



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