As a man walked down the beach, he came across another man. He observed this man picking up starfish and throwing them back to the sea.
He calls out to the man, “you there! What is it that you are doing?”
The man responds, “the starfish were left behind by the tide. As the sun rises, the sand heats up, burning the starfish to death. I’m throwing them back to the sea, to safety.”
The other man looks at him, incredulously, “but there are hundreds of miles of beach, and thousand of starfish. What difference can you make?”
The man shrugged, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the water, “it made a difference to that one.”
— Adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren C. Eiseley
In a world of big problems, it is easy to feel helpless. It can be easy to do nothing and make up excuses, lamenting the seemingly meaningless results that I, as a person, can accomplish.
The question repeats: What can I do?
- I can smile at a stranger.
- I can hold the door for the next person.
- I can let the car alongside me merge at construction.
- I can recycle.
- I can re-use bags at the grocery store.
- I can treat every person I come into contact with the respect and dignity they deserve as a living being.
I can control my actions and let my intentions guide their effects. I can use my actions as a means of service to those around me.
I can bow to the light within you.