The Difference You Make
When I think about the work I’ve taken on and the actions I perform to carry it out, I wonder if anyone is even aware of it – let alone concerned with it. I wonder if there’s any point to my efforts.
Then I remember a story I learned a long time ago. It goes something like this:
A young man was on vacation on a tropical island. After a night of partying, he found himself walking along the beach at dawn. He noticed, up ahead, an old man slowly moving along the shore. The old man would stop, pick something up and throw it into the sea, and then move on. The young man watched him do this over and over and was curious about the action. He caught up with the old man and asked him what he was doing.
The young man noticed thousands of starfish lying on the sand.
The old man said, “If I don’t throw them back into the ocean they’ll die.”
The young man said, “But there are thousands of them, and miles of beach. You can’t save them all. What difference does it make if you toss a few back?”