Wednesday, September 04, 2002

The Starfish Story: It's Possible

Here is the classic story you received a thouand times in your email.
If you had read it before, please scroll to the bolded moral of the story from my perspective.

A friend of mine was walking down a deserted Mexican beach at sunset. As he walked along, he noticed that a 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!"

It is not possible to make changes to the whole life at one time. But if we are confident enough to make small changes, it will definitely create a difference. The same applies to helping sentient beings. It is not possible to help the whole world, but we can help people around us, our family, friends, neighbors and so on. Compassion is infectious. Infect the world!

Before your hurl other starfish into the sea, realise too, that you are a starfish too. Have you hurled yourself lately? Or are you still ashore?

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