Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Starfish Story

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" 
Leo Buscaglia

You all know that I love this story about the small things we can all do that make a difference...

"While walking along a beach, a man saw in the distance what looked like a boy dancing.
He was encouraged by the outward expression of someone dancing to the new day on the beach, and he approached the boy. As he got closer, he realized that the boy was actually running, leaning down, picking something up and then gently throwing it far out into the ocean.

As he came closer, he saw thousands of starfish the tide had thrown onto the beach. Unable to return to the ocean during the low tide, the starfish were dying. He observed the boy picking up the starfish one by one and throwing them back. After watching the seemingly futile effort, the man said to the boy, "There must be thousands of starfish on this beach. It would be impossible for you to get to all of them. There is simply too many. You can't possibly save enough to make a difference." The boy bent down and picked up another starfish which he threw out into the sea. "It made a difference to that one," he replied.

The older man shook his head, turned away and walked home. That night, he sat for a long time thinking of the boy, and determined that he was really affecting the world and taking action to make a difference. Something that the older man would like to do. That night he slept fitfully and in the morning he went down to the beach and found the boy again. Then together, they went along the beach shore tossing starfish back into the ocean."

As individuals we can make a real difference and change outcomes for children, for families and for communities. We can volunteer, mentor, coach and support those who need our help in so many ways.  And, importantly, together we can change the world!

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