You’ve probably heard of the well-known tale of a boy walking on the beach and he saw many starfishes washed up on the shores of the beach.
Knowing that the starfishes will eventually die if left on the beach, does he try to save them by throwing them back into the ocean? Or let them die stranded up on the sand under the hot sun?
On one hand, it looks like it may be a wasted endeavor, there are so many starfishes washed up over the miles of beaches, will throwing 10 to 20 back into the ocean really matter?
Why try, if you can’t save them all or at least a significant amount of them?
Will it make any difference?
The boy’s answer was yes, as he had made a difference to those few starfishes that he had thrown back into the sea.
Although this answer is a valid one, I have my own views on this story.
I too will choose to throw as many starfishes as I can back into the sea, but my reasons vary from the boy’s answer.
Here are my 2 reasons why I think it matters that we throw those starfishes back into the place where they can live and thrive.
1. The Ripple Effect- The Ability To Influence Others
When we act based on what we should do instead of being ignorant in our choices, these actions may be noticed by others around us.
Be it by not using straws at the restaurant, recycling that plastic bottle, or choosing the inconvenience of washing your containers after packing food instead of choosing single-use plastics for food packaging.
Choosing not to eat endangered animal meat like shark fins or turtle eggs outside.
Giving away items to others who need them at donation drives or on Facebook buy nothing groups.
Volunteering your time and effort for cleaning up streets and beaches.
Supporting and guiding young kids by viewing children for their potential in the future.
Spreading educational information in one way or another to create awareness.
Choosing to vote instead of being complacent.
These actions of ours are seen and observed by others, and may also propel them to do the same.
If enough of us intentionally live our lives this way, there is a possibility that it carries over to others, from small ripples to large waves over time.
Think of it as similar to the idea of paying it forward.
We pass on what we do when others are influenced to do the same.
2. Keeping Yourself and Your Principals In Check
It is easy to lose our motivation for change in the environment we’re in.
It feels like almost every day we hear some bad news in the media, and if we are not careful we too may become jaded or cynical about it all.
There are just too many problems in the world and too few solutions.
We are just too greedy for profits to care for the marginalized or for the environment.
Some even can make the statement that we may be too far gone for any relevant change.
That’s where we have to stop and re-align our thoughts.
We have the control over our own actions in this place.
So when we intentionally choose to do what is good we too can keep ourselves in check.
It’s the fact that you keep trying to make things better despite the situation you are in.
Keep the faith and the hope that we can make a difference.
Anyway, here’s the link to the story about the boy and the starfishes for your reading.
What do you think about this question?