(by Loren Eiseley)
As a man walked a desolate beach one cold, gray morning he began to see another figure, far in the distance. Slowly the two approached each other, and he could make out a local native who kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water. Time and again he hurled things into the ocean. As the distance between them continued to narrow, the man could see that the native was picking up starfish that had been washed upon the beach and, one at a time, was throwing them back into the water. Puzzled, the man approached the native and asked what he was doing.
"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it is low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die up here from lack of oxygen."
"But there must be thousands of starfish on this beach," the man replied. "You can't possibly get to all of them. There are just too many. And this same thing is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The local native smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"
“Every one of us is just one person: we all have dreams, hopes, trials, cares, and responsibilities in this life. We may feel there is just too much to be done, and we have too little to give. We're usually short of everything, especially time and money. When we leave this earthly shore, there will still be 'millions of starfish stranded on the beach'. Maybe we can't change the whole world, but there isn't one of us who can't help change one person's whole world... one day at a time and one person at a time. One tiny hat will warm a premature baby's head, a cozy quilt will keep a mother and her child warm, and a kindly smile will touch a sorrowing heart. We can make a difference.
“My heroine is Mother Teresa-- look at all she accomplished in this life and she was but one person, just like us. Never give up helping others. "We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”
- Bev Qualheim
“In every community there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it.”