Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Kindness, the Starfish story


I recently read something that got me thinking. The writer was basically say how messed up the world is today. Millions of refugees, even more millions of starving people, the list of problems was almost endless. They felt the problems were so big there was just nothing that could be done other throw our hands up in despair and not even try to do anything.
Well let’s face it the problems of the world are huge and far beyond what any one person could possibly solve but can we not each as individuals do our own little bit. Make at least some contribution by helping the life of even one other person. In doing that little bit we are in fact making the world a little better. Bringing a little light into the life of another helps the world shine just a little brighter.
I know, I have been on the receiving end of such kindness and know how it can brighten a life.
Doing this thinking brought to mind on of my favourite stories. I have put it up before. Found it back in May/08. My post from back then:

A woman was walking along a beach when she saw a man scooping up starfish off the sand and tossing them into the waves. Curious, she asked him what he was doing. He replied “When the tide goes out it leaves these starfish stranded on the beach. They will dry up and die before the tide comes back in, so I am throwing them back into the sea where they can live.”

The woman laughed, “But this beach is miles long and there are hundreds of stranded starfish, most will die before you reach them – do you really think throwing back a few starfish is going to make a difference?”

The man picked up a starfish and looked at it and threw it into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one” he said.

In the story here we have a man seemingly taking on a hopeless or maybe even seemingly a useless task. There are miles of beach all of which he alone can’t possibly cover to save all of the starfish. But, does he give it up as a useless or hopeless task, NO. He realizes you Maybe can’t mean the world to everyone, but you can be the world to someone. He was doing his part, to help the world and meant the world to those starfish he did save.

I meant it when I said he was doing his part to help the world, he realize that every little bit counts, every little bit helps. He was showing his true character and the size of his heart by helping a living thing in trouble. I can only imagine that a man with a heart this big would be also helping other people in anyway he could with that same determined effort. Realizing every little bit helps, no extra effort is to small and no one would be seen as being not worth his help. He would just do what he could and I am sure felt better in his heart for knowing he did what he could.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all did that, had that attitude. If we all just did what we could instead of just throwing up our hands in despair, thinking this task, this problem, whatever is just to big, so big that nothing I could ever do would make a difference. That thinking is just so wrong as truly every little bit helps. Love is what make this world go around. It is the one thing there really can never be to much of. It truly is a case of the more the better. You have it in your heart, an inexhaustible supply of love. By showing it, sharing it through a simple act of kindness to another can be your way of doing your bit to make the world a better place.

Sharing this love can and will have its own rewards as you will feel the very love in your heart that you are giving away is growing, more than you can imagine.

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3 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Kindness, the Starfish story

  1. rangewriter says:

    You are absolutely right, Bill. It is depressing and demoralizing to focus too much attention on the big picture. It is much more rewarding and effective to think small and near. Reach out a hand to help someone struggling through the door, buy a homeless person a meal, carry a baby stroller up the stairs for a mom laden with kids & packages, tell someone how nice their sweater, dress, hair or whatever looks. It takes so little effort to make someone’s day easier.

    Bless you for your big (if rickety) heart.

    Thank you Linda. You are so right in the little things we can do. No act of kindness is ever too big or too small to not make a difference.

  2. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – the Starfish story resonates … and that one small action each day to help others, to smile more, to spread some happiness is the simplest – and often simple is better and more effective.

    We certainly cannot do anything to overcome the immigrant and refugee crisis … but we can do small things …

    Good to see you and welcome to 2016 – cheers to you and Vi – HIlary

    Thank you Hilary. You are so right even the smallest little gestures like a smile can have an unknown positive impact on another.
    There must be close to 7 billion people in the world today. Can you imagine if everyone of those people did even the smallest thing on a regular basis how much better this world could be.
    Very best to you and yours through 2016
    Bill

  3. Mel says:

    Catching up, I feel like I’m just babbling all over the place–BUT I had to comment to this one, because this is my favoritest story. This is the one I use over and over again with the people I come in contact with, the staff I train, the families and kiddos I have the privilege of working with. It’s a value that I try to live and not just speak.
    And it fills my world with such joy….those selfless moments when your heart says DO SOMETHING and you do it, without hesitation. Sometimes it’s snagging my husband and just squeezing the byjeepers outta him (he’s getting used to that one….LOL). It’s offering up the change in my pocket to the guy in line so he’s not having to walk out with 99 cents in change. It’s opening the door, grabbing that runaway cart, complimenting someone’s ‘glow’, letting people know what they’ve done that’s awesome…recognizing someone –because who doesn’t need recognized…
    This has become my creedo–my DOINGS list, my ‘things that make me happy’ list….my priority.

    I lived selfishly in my lifetime and focused on ‘what’s in it for ME’. Today I try to live my life directly opposite of that. Some days I score high, some days I score lower than I’d like, but all days that I reach out to help–it’s win/win! 🙂

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