“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan
Today I have been thinking about a story I once heard when I was younger. I could not quite remember it, but I knew what to search for. Thanks to my very good friend Google, I was able to find the original story. I would like to share it with you:
One day, a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The young boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I do not throw them back, they will die.”
“Son”, the man said, “Don’t you realise there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You cannot make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the ocean. Then, smiling at the man, he said,
“I made a difference for that one.”
– Loren Eisley
This story tugged at my emotions and made me realise that it does not matter who you are or what your situation is – you can always make a difference in someone’s life. Even though you cannot save the whole world, you can make a difference to the world of one person.
I thought about these quotes from famous people:
“To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, beautiful or smart. You just need to care.”– Mandy Hale
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”– Leo Buscaglia
You may not have millions to donate to charity, or the time to volunteer at shelters or old age homes, but you can smile at a stranger, hug an elderly person, adopt an animal, or give your lunch to a child living on the street. You may not even realise how big a difference you made in that person or animal’s life, because you never know the circumstances of each individual. Something as simple as a smile or hug could change their lives completely. We have the power to do so much more than we know.
Thomas Merton said: “Our job is to love others without stopping to enquire whether or not they are worthy”.
These words hold so much truth. The secret is to love beyond measure. Not just your family, friends or yourself, but also the dirty stranger you walk past in the streets, the boy you see on the bus, the lonely old man in the grocery store, the woman crying in the library, and the child staring at the clouds.
Our love should extend even further – to the animals. Not just the attractive pedigree dogs and cats, but even the ones running in the streets, the ones without homes, the sick ones, and the ones who stand little chance of surviving. There is one thing that I have learned from an animal. They do not stop to enquire whether or not we are worthy of their love – they just love us unconditionally. We can certainly learn from them. Every life matters!
Today I urge you to be that person, because you are capable of changing someone’s world. Even if it is just one smile at a time…