Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stars and Starfishes

Two days ago, I had taken and edited the picture below.  My plan: simply post the picture of me sitting down and staring at the star - yes, the smiling one - and see what people thought of it haha.  I thought it would be fun.

After editing the picture, I was sitting down and staring at the star.  Suddenly I remembered a particular story about a starfish.  Just a little over a year ago, I had read a book - "The Power in You" by Wally Amos - which contained a short story about a starfish.  After reading the story, I rushed to go write it down in my journal. 

I opened my journal today - it's been a while since I've done that - and reread the story.  Just like when I read it the first time a year ago, the story made me smile.  I hope it makes you smile too.
   "The Starfish"
Author Unknown

As the old man walked down a Spanish beach at dawn, he saw ahead of him what he thought to be a dancer.  The young man was running across the sand rhythmically bending down to pick up a stranded starfish and throw it far into the sea.  The old man gazed in wonder as the young soul again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water.  The old man approached him and asked why he spent so much energy doing what seemed a waste of time.  The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.

"But there must be thousands of miles of beach and millions of starfish.  How can your effort make any difference?"

The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea said, "It makes a difference to this one."

I've read this to my dad, my older sister, and my sister-in-law.  They all smiled when I read the last sentence. 

It's a short and simple story, yet magically holds a handful of meaningful messages.  I take to heart the message that you just have to start with one - one step, one person, one action - to make a difference and that, afterall, really is the difference.

I wonder... what does the story mean to you?

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Ryan said...

Be the change you want to see in the world. :) that's what I thought. Keep on posting. you really inspire me. :D

Roger Poladopoulos said...

A simple thought yet so true: change begins, one at a time.

Luke Plus said...

The starfish is sooo cute !! also nice message!

Luke Plus

JoeBlow said...

That story made me smile too. Just what I needed this morning.

the island guy said...

@ Ryan
It also reminds of something my art professor used to say:
"A little a day goes a long way."

@ Roger Poladopoulos
Yes, it's simple and just like the saying goes, "it's the simple things that matter".

@ Luke Plus
Glad you like the star/starfish too!

@ JoeBlow
Awesome. Just what I was hoping for :) I read this to my dad and to my sister and they both smiled at the end. It's just a nice, plain, simple story with a great message that everyone can take to heart.

^travis said...

pretty nice story, to start the week with.

Jj Rodriguez said...

Wonderful post... Thanks for this... Gave me something to think while on the train... No traffic so far my friend...

Anonymous said...

I've always said the change starts within each of us...I love this story, thanx for sharing it :)

todd carr said...

good message. If I were a starfish I would want to be thrown back in, unless I was a suicidal starfish, then I'd just want to rot in the sun.

westwood said...

What an amazing story. I love it and intend to retell it.

the island guy said...

@ ^travis
yes it is :)

@ Jj Rodriguez
you're welcome

@ David Allen Water
"the change starts within each of us"
I like that

@ todd carr
haha maybe there's another way to tell the story without making it sound like the starfish is suicidal (or maybe that's the purpose of the story, that we should be there for the person that's going through the hardest time)

@ westwood
"sharing is caring" :)
My cousin Jay-R would say that when I was a little kid and I've remembered it since haha

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful story, and I enjoyed reading it again. I think just about all the things it evokes in people have been covered, but I do want to say it put a smile on my face.

Thanks for a sweet post, Justy.

Peace <3

BrightenedBoy said...

Very few people have the ability to effect change on a truly large scale. Helping to improve our individual pieces of the world is the best thing we can do.

Anonymous said...

They told this to us in church!!! I look forward to hearing this story every year! Seriously, it is my all time favorite! I'm so glad that someone else loved it as much as I did. It's so beautiful really, and it's true. One small act of goodness changes the world in its own way. It's so amazing...

Sean said...

Thanks for sharing this inspiring story. When I was doing volunteer work in the Philippines, I once cried because we were not making much of an impact on the rampant social problems. Then an experienced colleague told me the same thing. You just need to focus on helping one person at a time, and you would have made a difference to that person's life.

the island guy said...

@ Jay M.
Happy that it put a smile on your face

@ BrightenedBoy
very wise
It's like a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. The best you can do is to fit one piece at a time. After awhile, it really makes a difference.

@ Maggie
I had no idea that this story was this well known haha.
Remind me to post an original next time :)

@ Sean
That sounds so inspiring Sean. Truly does. I'd love to hear more about it :)

Craig said...

Very sweet. It's hard to try to think that our every act has an impact on others and yet we should try to remember that it does. Thanks for posting.

Pat said...

A sweet story and very meaningful. One that will stay with me. Thanks for sharing it.

Nubian said...

I can see why my fellow blogger buddy David Allen Waters thinks your blog rocks. Very cool. Thanks for the reminder.

lladybugg said...

Its funny how clicking a link in a blog leads to clicking another link and eventually you come out somewhere that makes you smile. :) I have always loved the starfish story...caring enough to do something is often the most important part.
We can all do something.

Thanks for the smile.

kisatrtle said...

One of my favorite stories! tFS