Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Starfish Thrower Story ~ Loren Eiseley

Recently, i came across this very meaningful story which a friend from Student Care Service shared with me. The Starfish Thrower was adapted from a story by Loren Eiseley. A quick search on Google reveals that there are many different version of this story, but essence of them are all the same.

The story goes something like this:

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 youth replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going down. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."

"Son," the man said, "don't you realized there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?" You can't make a difference!"

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said...

"I made a difference for that one."


I think i have came across this story last time when i am younger. However, the same story draws out different feelings and emotions at different point in time. This is such a short, simple and lovely story. It brings across a couple of powerful messages.

Environmental conservation message to all of us, No matter how minute you think your effort is with respect to the grand scale of things. Every bit of effort helps. It may be the 30 minutes of electricity that you save by switching off the lights when you go for lunch. It may be the extra plastic bags that you did not take from the supermarket. It may be the stray that you rescue from the streets. The bottom line is, we are always making a difference. Why not make the difference a positive one.

I have been a volunteer with the Student Care Service center for a couple of years now. This story is kind of a "pick me up". Instead of focusing on the vast number of youths that we did not manage to reach out to, we focus on the fact that we are helping those that we can and we do the best for those that we are helping. This is the difference that we are making. =D

This is also a key point that many self-help and motivational gurus like Anthony Robbins are trying to tell us. Given the same action and situation, what we focus on is of ultimate importance. We can either focus on the "miles of beach and hundreds of starfish" and feel bad and helpless about the situation, OR we can choose to focus on the fact that we took action and helped "the starfish that we threw back to sea"

More resource using Google Suggest for "Motivation"

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