At some point in our lives, at least some of us have heard, or read, had read to us as kids, the story of the starfish thrower by Loren Eiseley. The story of the young girl who was walking along the long stretch of a seashore one morning, where thousands of starfish had been washed ashore, after a terrible storm. The striking aspect of the young girl’s walk was that, as she walked along the beach, she would pick up one starfish at a time and gently throw it back into the ocean. An older gentleman observing this approaches her. And out of curiosity asked her why she was throwing the starfish into the ocean. The girl replies with urgency in her voice that, with the sun up and the tide declining, she needed to get these starfish in the water, or they would die.
“But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles of beach and thousands of starfish? You cannot possibly make a difference.”
The girl listened. But then, she bends down and picks up another starfish and throws it into the sea. And she said,
“It made a difference for that one”
Who is the starfish? Is it a loved one in your life, is it your friend, is it your child, or is it you? You, me, and, every single one of those souls is worth saving. When we understand that the power to change a person’s life could be in our hands, it could motivate you to action. If not for everyone you know that is struggling, at the least for one. “what can I do to make a difference?” you may think.
We can ascribe our inability to do anything to our busy lives. We may move on, thinking that someone else is probably already doing it. Or it could just be a relinquishing thought of “it is too late.” Maybe, you are the washed ashore starfish, and you think it is too late for you. You don’t see hope.
You matter. The person next door matters. Your family needs you. Your friends need you. Depression may have washed you ashore. But you are not without hope. If no one else is reaching out to you, and you are the one struggling with depression, they may not even be aware of your struggle. Tell your friend. Just over a cup of coffee. That alone will, start your swim toward the life-giving waters.
If there is a friend in your life, that’s been missing in action, check on them. Your call, or text, or visit could be the difference between her or him, deciding to give staying alive another chance. You could be the difference that withholds a young mother from taking her life. You could be the difference that allows her kids to have their mommy for longer.
Your call, your text, your visit, your smile, …it could save one starfish!
You could be the difference… for ONE.