The Starfish Story, by Loren Eiseley, is a beautiful bit of prose which I’d like to share with you.
‘One day, a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, ‘What are you doing?’
The youth replied, ‘I’m throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back in, they’ll die’.
‘Son’, the man said, ‘don’t you realise there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference’!
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling, he said to the man, ‘I made a difference to that one’.
Events going on in the world, and closer to home, can feel overwhelming. We can find ourselves wondering if there is any point in doing anything when it will be such a drop in the ocean. This beautiful starfish story reminds us that every person counts and even if we can only do something small to help one person, it is worth it. It is important to focus on what we can do and to know that it makes a difference rather than feeling negative about the things which are beyond our control. Help comes in all shapes and sizes and doesn’t need to cost a great deal and helping others can lift one’s own spirits. Another important thing to remember is that nature is a tonic! Including nature in our day will help to calm us and bring us joy!
If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t want to feel this way anymore, drop me a message about getting on top of life again.