A friend was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he began to see another man in the distance. As he grew nearer, he noticed that the local native kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean. As my friend approached even closer, he noticed that the man was picking up starfish that had washed up on the beach, and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water. My friend was puzzled.
He approached the man and said. “Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you are doing.”
“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”
“I understand,” my friend replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”
There is the assumption that a small action will not make any difference. This is a horrible thought because then no action is taken, which ensures that no difference is made. We should try to make small differences, because these can be the most important to someone. If you experience someone going out of their way to help you, then it makes a difference to you.
There is an expectation to help everyone
You don’t have to save the world to make a difference. It is hard to accept sometimes that we don’t have to make a difference to a lot of people in order to help. I know that I would love to reach out and help a lot of people, but sometimes this isn’t always possible. It is possible to help one person though. Perhaps even a few people, but it doesn’t have to be everyone.
We lose sight that a few people are still people . They matter, they count, and they should be cared for. It is wonderful to try to help all the starving kids in Africa, but simply helping one child in Africa is a wonderful thing. Don’t forget that you are still helping one person at a time. If you are able to help one person a day for the rest of your life then that begins to make a huge difference soon.
It’s like a friendship, It’s intimate
You have no idea how happy it makes me when someone goes out of their way to help only me. They simply do it from the kindness of their heart. It makes more of a difference to me than someone that helps me simply because I am part of a group of people that they are trying to help.
Think of your friends. You normally don’t try to help all of them by one big action; instead you will help each one that needs it. People are unique and often their problems are unique. You shouldn’t ignore the fact that one solution for one person will not work for the next. My friends are not all the same and I know that I cannot solve each of their problems with one simple solution.
Ways to help someone
Sometimes no one needs help, but they could use a little lift in their day. Try to do something out of the ordinary, such as stopping to help them with something. I don’t mean do something that is very unique, I mean do something that isn’t expected. These are the best gifts you can give to someone.
You might know someone that really needs help. They might be homeless, hungry, depressed, jobless, or something else. You don’t have to solve the homeless problem; instead you should simply help one homeless person or two. It doesn’t matter that you can’t help everyone, it matters that you helped someone. You made a difference to one person.
Together, We make a large difference
It’s the old idea, if everyone contributes then it starts to add up. It is true, but the problem is not everyone will contribute. Ignore that fact and keep helping, because you might just inspire someone to help someone else. Your actions could go farther than you might think. I know if someone helped me I feel more inclined to help someone out later. You never know what kind of difference you really do make.
Photo by Topyti