For some reason, this story has been running through my head a lot lately:
“An old man was walking along the beach and saw in the distance a young boy who appeared to be dancing and gyrating at the ocean’s edge. As the man got closer, he realized that the boy was not dancing at all. The tide had gone out, beaching thousands and thousands of starfish. The boy was throwing starfish one after the other back into the ocean so that they might survive.
“Son, you can’t possibly throw all of those starfish back,” the old man said. “How can what you are doing possibly matter?”
As the boy threw yet another starfish back into the safety of the ocean, he replied, “It mattered to that one.”’
This isn’t a new story by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s always stuck with me, and as I said, it’s been running through my head lately. I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do with the fact that in today’s modern society of hyper-connectedness there is often a lack of the basic things that truly bring people together—a smile, a kind word, a simple gesture.
I’m in no way tooting my own horn, but there are a lot of times I’ve felt frustrated . While I know I don’t do these things for acknowledgement or attention, the lack of response can cause me to ask, “How can what I’m doing possibly matter?”
And there are times I know I’m on the other end, when I’m stuck in my head and blind to the simple things that could help pull me out, or at the very least, make me smile.
But while there is a lot of evidence to the contrary, I would like to think that at their core, most people are good. For whatever reason—be it a fear of rejection, simple selfishness, a lack of confidence—I think many people just keep a lot of that “good” inside instead of letting others know.
Which is really too bad, as people often underestimate the impact of a few kind words. That doesn’t mean everyone will care or that you have to go around farting rainbows and glitter, but it’s unfortunate when you stop trying, as those are probably the times when a little kindness is needed the most.
So the moral of the story is that every time you read a blog post you like and don’t comment, a starfish dies.
No, that’s not true. I’m kidding.
These things I know—you get what you give. It can be hard at times to remember, but there is a lot of good.
I remember the starfish.
I remember that to that one person, it could matter.
I remember that it matters to me.
This post is in response to the Studio30 Plus prompt:
“These things I know…”
What is one thing you “know?” It doesn’t have to be serious, as I’m in the mood to learn something new…