Monday, 25 April 2011

Making a Difference

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.  
-William James 
The Starfish Thrower is a famous adaptation of a story written by American anthropologist and nature writer Loren Eiseley. I feel in love with the story ever since my father read it to me a long ten years back. Most of you probably know it already. But I can say from personal experience, this is one story where it does not matter if you have read it previously or not.

“One day, a man walking down a beach early in the morning, saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of another man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" he asked, somewhat startled.

"The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

"But, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are thousands of starfish all along every mile? Then there are beaches all over the world. You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it sailed in one wide arc and met the water, he simply commented, "Well, it made a difference to that one."

Every time I read it, I get new courage to move on in life. Because I understand what it means to make a difference to a life. I do not need to change the world. But if can positively affect a single person in my lifetime, in a way no one else could have, I think will die a happy person.
Touch someone’s life today. You never know how small a gesture can have how big an impact. Stay happy and thank you for stopping by. See you again! 


  1. beautifully simple. it's a pity not everyone can embrace this simple concept.
    Thank you for reminding us though .. :)

  2. I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
    Helen Keller

    The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker.
    Helen Keller

  3. Changing the world is done one gesture at a time, one person at a time, this story is a reminder of just that. Beautiful.

  4. At the time of reading this I was watching How I Met Your Mother and in there one of the character quoted Gandhiji. Yes its a quote like many other posted here but I couldn't find better comment then this, at least for now. so here goes:
    "“We must become the change we want to see in the world.”
    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948);"

    Also you might want to take a look here:

  5. Short and meaningful!

  6. beautiful & very meaningful esp in today's world

  7. Quite an inspirational post!

  8. Good Stuff....Wish we all followed it instead of sitting in our homes and saying it.


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